schadenfreude online

I watched a film last night that disturbed me enormously, so much that I had a sleepness night. It all roots back to a term that the English seemed to have pinched from the Germans “Schadenfreude“. A New York Times article in 2002 cited a number of scientific studies of schadenfreude, which it defined as “delighting in others’ misfortune.”

The wonderful thing about online communities is that the provide a watering hole of many of us irrespective of race, gender, age, etc., to share common interests that generates positive energy and exeplifies the beauty of human nature. Unfortunately as with everything there is the other ‘darker side’ and this is the pull of a minority of people (or at least I would like to think it is just a minority) to schadenfreude, and how this can cause serious damage in our society. The newspapers publish based on this hunger. This is what I found disturbing about this film. The core theme was based on this, a base hunger to see misfortunate targetted at someone else online. Sound far-fetched? One of the film reviewers seem to think so. My research todate does not see it far fetched at all, just very sad.

Now link this in to how important is your privacy and imagine the damage that could be done to those of us that do not protect our privacy now and in the future.

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