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Why does the Internet love to generalize so much?

Last posted May 29, 2022 at 05:13PM EDT. Added May 04, 2022 at 12:01AM EDT
12 posts from 11 users

One thing I see on the Internet a lot is that certain individuals like to throw a certain group of people into a preconceived bucket, or assume everything made after a certain time period is automatically bad. I.E. All people who use TikTok are worthless or all video games made after 2007 are automatically bad or all Internet memes made after 2008 are worthless. Stuff like that.

Does any of this kind of thinking hold water? Should it be considered ethical?

Claims like "everyone who uses tik-tok is a normie" or "every halo game 343 made sucks", those kinds of statements mainly appeal to people who already were in agreement. At the end of the day, you'll always have groups of people with similar veiws on a subject, and it's not a bad thing to agree or disagree with them. It's just better to really have your own opinion on those subjects, whether they align with them or not.

One contributing factor is the positive feedback (clicks, likes, upvotes) that hyperbolic statements get. Less nuanced takes are more visible, and people want to be heard. Also, as the Internet becomes more ubiquitous, this is probably more of a human phenomenon in general (we think in oversimplified terms). The earliest years of the Internet were probably less like this with the smaller, niche groups at the time, though I can't know that.

Arcadenblog wrote:

One thing I see on the Internet a lot is that certain individuals like to throw a certain group of people into a preconceived bucket, or assume everything made after a certain time period is automatically bad. I.E. All people who use TikTok are worthless or all video games made after 2007 are automatically bad or all Internet memes made after 2008 are worthless. Stuff like that.

Does any of this kind of thinking hold water? Should it be considered ethical?

It’s simply the assuming the whole from the part fallacy.
Whether or not it’s ethical depends on if there was malicious intent. If it was an honest mistake, then, once the error is noticed, it should be corrected quickly. If the generalization was made with intent to manipulate, then it was unethical.

Last edited May 07, 2022 at 11:08PM EDT

This isn't an Internet thing, this is a human nature thing.

What the Internet does do is make the problem worse by

1) Allowing people to more easily form echo chambers (they will form naturally irl, but typically geographically and much more slowly)
2) Allowing opposing echo chambers to easily interact with each other

With advances in communication technologies and public access to them, one person has a broader scope than ever before. Even within the United States, we can immediately get access to stories from every corner of the nation. It feels like we move faster because we can see further out in real-time. We generalize because by the time someone comes to the end of their detailed explanation about the history and action of one current event, five more have already happened.

If those five things were to happen at a time when we didn't all have access to information in our pocket, we wouldn't have known or cared for some time.

Last edited May 20, 2022 at 02:11PM EDT

Not just the Internet, humans themselves tend to generalize.
It's much easier on mental resources to apply a "one-size-fits-all' way of thinking compared to keeping a mental note for every exception.
We're lazy.

Regarding the internet and generalization, it loves to do so because we pretty much have forums and social media where we can create echo chambers that can regurgitate an idea. In regards to real life, you'll likely have individuals that are more likely to stay in their own world where they'll try to generalize a group as all being filled with nutjobs or pedophiles or as savages. With the current year were in and all the political fallouts that occur and the like, we'll be likely to see all sorts of horrible takes that show us a great example of generalization.

It's more about subjective opinions than generalization as Major_Failure stated perfectly! It's always healthy to be open-minded than close-minded of course and disagreeing or agreeing is a part of life.

Do I think people have petty generalizations? Yes
Do I think those people are bad people? No

Skeletor-sm

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