Monday, January 11, 2010

Psychopathology and the Internet

It's a connection that's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore.

Before the World Wide Web came into being (and what a mixed blessing that's been), people with character and deeper psychological disorders were compelled to try to control their destructive impulses, not draw undue attention to themselves, and "fit in." Worst-case scenario: their influence was usually restricted to their immediate, real-world surroundings. Best-case scenario: they sought and received help.

Certainly not an ideal setup but, human nature and biochemistry being as flawed as it is, about the best we could hope for. (And I apologize for my phraseology not being clinically accurate or sufficiently PC.)

Now, however, every child molester, stalker, con artist, thief, hate group, and generic nutjob can find like-minded wackos all over the globe. Networks have formed that enable, reinforce, and encourage behavior previously seen as morally reprehensible and socially unacceptable. Sociopaths have found a power base. The lunatics are taking over the asylum.

I've been mulling this over for a while. Haven't been able to ignore the subject, really, given the number of toxic spiders crawling the Web (and that includes YOU, ebook pirates -- go grow a conscience!) Then I came upon a post today by Mrs. Giggles (click title), and it was the catalyst that prompted this vent.

What a creepy place the 'Net is becoming.


Tam said...

Seriously? That's a real group? How Jr. High.

While the internet has allowed the wackos to find similar voices, it has also allowed those fighting for good causes to find a common voice as well. Nothing is ever all bad or all good. I have the great ability to simply ignore that which annoys me on the net most of the time, mind you, I've never been attacked by Glittering Twilight Moms.

K. Z. Snow said...

Absolutely, Tam -- a mix of negative and positive. I've just been seeing more and more evidence of the negative. Crap's been oozing from an enormous variety of sources.

There are a whole lot of vicious, predatory, and just generally disturbed people out there with way too much time on their hands.

Chris said...


Chris said...

Oh, why wasn't THAT word my veri word?! So amusing, I had to comment again:



Jenre said...

That spider pic is just... *shudder*.

Mind you, it's entirely apt. Hundreds of people with tiny minds doing what someone else has told them to. Peer pressure gone mad. Tam is right, it's like a global high school mentality.

K. Z. Snow said...

And worse, Jen.

My attitude's really been darkened lately -- by reports I see on TV about pervs trolling chatrooms, looking for underage kids; by wanky bloggers; by the research I did for Jude in Chains, which entailed visiting those appalling ex-gay sites; by ebook piracy (I just had to send out a take-down notice for Finding Utopia -- do you believe it?)

Seems I've had more exposure to the dregs of humanity lately than I would've liked. It's just depressing.

Chris said...

*passes KZ a beer*

I find it discouraging that when I google an author's name, one of the "suggestions" (based on what others are googling) virtually always includes a torrent of that author's work. :(

K. Z. Snow said...

It's absolutely maddening and nearly impossible to keep up with. Authors are literally being robbed of their income. No wonder most of us are broke.

One person recently remarked, if this keeps up it could shut down the e-publishing industry, because there aren't many people willing to write books for nothing.

I suspect there'll be a lot of writers publishing through Lulu if piracy gets bad enough. But, I hope, some safeguards will be put into place before things degenerate too much further.