To say that as a nation we are more politically divided today than anyone alive can remember would be obvious.
Take a look at any political thread anywhere on the internet and you’ll find endless paragraphs of shouting and cursing toward one another.
The red team sucks because of this, and the blue team is ruining America because of that.
Without much context or nuance, people are calling out others viciously for no real reason. Whether you’re a celebrity or a normie like the rest of us, no one is immune to the effects of the Trump Administration.
But Trump is talked about enough, and this isn’t about him.
No, let’s look at someone who rivals Trump at the top of the list of most hated people in America.
Jake Paul, and by extension his brother, Logan, has been a controversial figure in the social media blogosphere for quite some time.
Since his move to YouTube after the death of Vine, Jake has made a name for himself with his outlandish and immature daily vlogs appealing heavily to pre-teens and younger kids.
He has been featured on the news prominently via the various bizarre, dangerous and questionable stunts he has pulled.
More recently, he has been the target of a new spotlight.
YouTube mega-star and veteran Shane Dawson recently put out an eight-part documentary series analyzing Jake Paul, essentially trying to figure out why he does what he does and why he is so hated for doing so.
What resulted was a fascinating, albeit sloppily presented, trip down the unorthodox rabbit hole that is the life of Jake Paul and his friends and colleagues in his multi-million-dollar, investor backed “Team 10” house.
After watching the entire eight-plus hours of content that Shane put together, it is far easier to sympathize with hyper rich content creators.
It’s no easier to enjoy or like these peoples’ personalities, but the road to diminishing hatred begins with understanding.
The most important idea that can be taken out of the whole series is that today’s call-out culture has become so ridiculous that, once it is broken down, the mean-spirited nature of all of the hate being thrown around on social media is nothing but petty.
Jake Paul absolutely has done some questionable things that toe the line of unethical behavior, depending on who you are.
Shane’s series will paint Jake as a tragic figure with a warped perspective on what it is like to exist in the real world. While this is true, it can’t be ignored the predatory nature of Jake Paul’s marketing toward children.
However, whether Jake Paul is actually a good person or not is beside the point. Even if he is better off than the majority of people that live in the United States, the amount of unfiltered, irrational hate thrown toward him is very indicative of a broader problem in our current culture and political atmosphere.
The internet has made it far too easy to dehumanize the people we interact with. Without the idea of a real human being to attach ignorant rhetoric to, we immediately categorize said person as “bad” and worthy of being attacked.
This comes from both sides of the political spectrum.
Just as much as some conservative people blindly hate minorities, liberal people are just as quick to spew misplaced hatred toward anyone wearing a MAGA hat. With the current political divide that becomes wider and wider every day, we have become more and more empathetic. We equate beliefs to values and demonize those who oppose us, even if those oppositions are virtually harmless in the broader rhetorical sphere.
So, this is my half-baked attempt to tell everyone to just be a little nicer. Really evaluate how you’re interacting with the people around you and ask yourself critically, “Is whatever I’m angry about actually doing any harm?”
More times than not, the answer will surprise you.