It happens every day of your life.
You check your phone only to find yourself drowning in a shitstorm of unclear subtweets, quote tweets, or (most damning of all) screencaps of erased tweets. The tweets, counter tweets, and counters to the counter tweets are popping off like a theater concession stand. And you’ve only just barely had a sip of your early morning coffee.
This is social media working as intended- and we live for it.
Popular wisdom would have you believe that social media drama is the blight of all online existence, among the most resented elements of our sadomasochistic relationship to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and (for certain demographics) Facebook. In fact, a common element of all this drama is a subset of people vocally griping about the heated discourse, and showing themselves above it all with screenshots of all the words they muted to release themselves from that hell.
Social media is a dumpster fire for our cumulative trash. And I like to watch it burn.
After all, if we didn’t love online drama, we wouldn’t have roundups of our favorite influencer feuds of the year.
Without the constant drama feeds, we wouldn’t have known about “Instagram author” Caroline Calloway and former best friend/ghostwriter Natalie Beach’s rocky relationship. Tati Westbrook’s video calling out James Charles wouldn’t have ended up being world news. That girl who was “at capability” due to the “psychological labor” of being a good friend would not have actually become a copypasta staple. Committed online drama accounts like Best of Nextdoor, Finest of r/Relationships, and She Rates Dogs would not have numerous countless followers each.
And honestly, I’m done pretending like I don’t like it – it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Honestly, embracing the drama might be among our best approaches for handling the cycle of social media self-hatred.
But let’s be real: reading our twitter feeds is like being a full-on noir private detective. You need to understand the tea, who spilled it, and drink in every subtle note of flavor with every sluggish, delectable sip. And that’s okay.
A love for drama is just human, natural to our psychology and the primary motivation behind our craving for storytelling.
Stress or dispute in a story stimulates our interest due to the fact that we process it like a form of social practice, finding out how to establish skills that may assist us prevent these conflicts. It even “produces indications of stimulation: the heart and breathing speed up, stress hormonal agents are launched, and our focus is high,” neuroeconomics scientist Paul J. Zak wrote in Greater Good, a UC Berkeley publication concentrating on scientific research. It’s also simple to get addicted to drama, Brain health expert Nicole Fisher wrote in Forbes that, “considering that drama utilizes the exact same mechanisms in the brain as opiates, individuals can easily become addicted to drama.”
So while you have to look out for getting hooked on the stuff, there’s no rejecting that we often delight in drama as much as a bump of drug.
It almost goes without saying, but drama is likewise an embedded part of the style of many social networks platforms. Twitter’s algorithm prioritizes content with great deals of engagement which people are most likely to take notice of. So you’re more likely to encounter drama-filled ratio’ed tweets than ones that are all sunlight and daisies.
Whether we like it or not, social media drama isn’t going anywhere any time quickly. Turmoil is social media’s god.
Beyond that, drama is just type of what occurs when you toss a lot of various type of people into the very same shared virtual area.