Perhaps you've been thinking lately about how you can make more people blow a gasket during the course of their days.
Or perhaps you yourself are looking to become temple-throbbingly angry over words typed on the computer screen by complete strangers, but you're just not sure where to turn to get that fix.
Here are some tips to get that steam shooting from the ears without delay!
For writers/bloggers/forum participants:
- Type stuff. It really doesn't matter what. Eventually you'll hit on a combination of words that will make somebody believe you're a cruel and nasty individual trivializing their beloved pair of socks, the death of their childhood cat Mittens, or their lifelong love of cheese wheel rolling. Remember, this is the Internet, where colored pixels of light on the screen translate directly into personal insecurity and outrage.
- Be yourself. There's nothing that makes people on the internet more angry than someone who has ideas, or opinions, or types stuff (see above). It wouldn't matter if you were Gandhi, Kermit the Frog or Mr. Rogers. It's only a matter of time before someone finds you to be the most vile creature Satan ever shot into the Great Spittoon of Life. Be patient.
- Write the words that come to you without thinking of them from 47 different angles first. Be hasty. A careless, off-the-cuff phrase from you might just be the big Internet scandal that triggers loathing and threats against your nether-regions.
- Talk about controversial topics. Or lint. You might think that to really make people mad on the internet, you need to talk about things like politics, religion, gender issues, dog fighting or who should win American Idol this season. But you may not realize, you also have a great opportunity to make people spit blood by bringing up things like: breast feeding, animal breeding, favorite soups, the color puce, liking something, not liking something, and bits of fluff you might find in your armpit after wearing an angora sweater. The chance of annoying people regularly on the internet by talking about topics is virtually limitless.
- Examine all content from news articles to blog posts to Twitter entries as if it relates directly to you personally, and all aspects of your life. Assume the writer was knowingly talking about you, even though the only thing they've seen of you is your screen name and your Winnie the Pooh avatar in the comments section.
- Fixate on one or two small details in a larger piece. Then super-size its importance for maximum impact. If you're skilled with this, you might be able to trigger a whole sub-discussion flame war where commenters on both sides begin to dwell on this minor issue instead of the topic the author actually intended. You may be working up a good froth for days!
- If there is nothing in a piece to fixate on, make assumptions that could be related, and rage about those. For example, if an article is about kittens and there is a white and a black kitten in the accompanying photo, you have an opportunity to discuss the author's obvious neglect of including tabbies in the piece, and how tabbies are just as good as black and white kittens and how the author is clearly an anti-Tabbyist. This places you in a very powerful position, because it is difficult to defend a statement that wasn't actually made in the first place. Your blood pressure can then elevate nicely due to their refusal to accept your accusations.
And for my guests today who have already begun this process, how have you inadvertently made others find their inner rage online? I hope you'll share with us today.