Episode 395: The Human Condition as it Exists on the Internet

On the podcast, we consider human motivation in the age of the snarky tweet.

Peter Fenzel, Mark Lee, and Matthew Wrather overthink the best and worst of human nature on Twitter, wonder what really motivates our action online, and launch Overthinking It Meberships to our podcast listeners.

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6 Comments on “Episode 395: The Human Condition as it Exists on the Internet”

  1. Tom D #

    When explaining Andie MacDowell’s interiority for sharing her feelings about airlines with the world, I think she just thought that she had an obligation to Tweet in order to protect the world from ‘not being able to fly with your dog, like everyone else’ …


  2. Mike O #

    Internet is a mixed bag.
    Allows bad behavior to be either 1. easily held accountable; gather protesters. or 2. easily promote bad behavior; gather supporters.

    Technology amplifies. I don’t know if it changes behavior though. If you find yourself becoming more negative and you think it’s due to easier interactions online, you’d act the same way if someone has standing outside your window jeering you. Instead of jeering you from a computer window. It just amplifies.

    I’d really like to see a truly free and open internet one day. “Internet 2.0”. No compartmentalizing like with paid TV channels, no oversight, no bans, no kill switches. I’d love to see what effects it’ll have on people and society. Would it be the same, but with a bigger black market? It’ll definitely speed along whatever real world laws or projects to provide mental care for pedophiles, drug addicts, gambling, radicals, etc.
    Hmm, you could even track the real national well being by seeing the size of these markets/groups online. “Are pedo users on the rise, or sinking?”


  3. Crystal #

    As a person with asthma and an allergy to dogs, I have a hard time mustering up sympathy for Ms. McDowell. So many people with dogs (I’m sure it’s a small percentage of overall dog owners but it’s enough) think nothing of subjecting you to their pooch at work, at the mall, even in freaking coffee shops. I don’t expect people to go out of their way to accommodate my allergy at their home, but that means I end up declining a lot of invitations to parties and other hanging out at the house type activities. Allergy symptoms are enough to ruin my day (or even send me to the ER and I don’t have particularly bad allergies/asthma) and they linger for many, many hours after I extricate myself from the source of the histamines. It’s not usually a problem in a major city but it can be an issue further in the burbs. (Compounded by board gaming being one of my hobbies).
    There’s a certain entitlement that some dog owners have that amplifies the normal celebrity/rich person entitlement. According to my quick googling, 15% of people are allergic to cats and/or dogs. If you bring a dog on a plane there is a near 100% chance you will be close enough to someone with an allergy to make their flight miserable.


    • Matthew Wrather OTI Staff #

      Yeah, I’ve developed similar feelings over the past several years even though I’m not a pet allergy sufferer—longtime listeners of the podcast know that what I’m really allergic to is self-righteousness. LA (all of California) pretty recently started allowing pets on restaurant patios, which is a disaster on any number of levels. People whose dogs are badly-behaved—which is a knock on the owner, not on the animal—have a tendency to look at you like you’re the problem.


  4. Fred Firestine #

    Quite a touchy subject, being “happy” when others do well. :-) I have accepted social friend requests from many former high school classmates. At that time, I thought I was doing well and working toward a certain level of success. Now that I have reached my current level of success, fill in the blank, is it I who am grumbling at them, they who are snickering at me, or a little of both, depending upon who came out ahead? When I hit 40 10 years ago, I started down a path of self-improvement. I lost that spare tire on my belly, sure, but at a certain point I had to stop listening to those so-called positive messages when my progress in other areas did not come soon enough. We have to make peace with the fact that whatever the struggles may be, internal or external, there are plenty to go around. We really should accept it with grace when others do well, at the very least, even if we aren’t happy about it.


    • Fred Firestine #

      P.S. #winning because I listened to this episode about Andie MacDowell on Groundhog Day, in which I think she was quite endearing. Let’s just hold on to that day forever. I got you, babe.


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