Friday, October 10, 2014

Why Do We Hate Read?

Like most of you, I have a morning routine that I have fallen into during the two months at my new job. I wake up, contemplate calling in sick, press snooze sixty two times, get ready in three minutes, climb into my car, and…turn my radio to The Woody Show and hate listen for the next forty minutes while I sit in traffic. The Woody Show is a morning talk radio segment on 98.7 that truly boils my blood—most of the segments are sexist or offensive in some way and all of them are just plain dumb. But each morning I faithfully tune in and let myself get more and more riled up. I hadn’t thought much about my strange compulsion to “hate listen” until I was complaining to a good friend of mine for the umpteenth time about something Woody had said, and he asked me: “Why don’t you just stop listening?”

And so I tried. I vowed to never again contribute to the high ratings of that particularly horrendous morning show. But…I couldn’t do it. Within a week, I was back at it; happily hate listening away, but this time keeping my anger to myself so as not to be called out again. This whole failed experiment got me thinking: why do we “hate listen” “hate read” or in the case of facebook “hate stalk”?

I realized that The Woody Show is far from the only thing that I love to hate. I have a few blogs and columnists that I hate read, and I’m definitely more prone to fb/twitter/instagram stalk people I don’t like. I know I’m not alone in this. One, my very liberal dad has been hate listening to Rush Limbaugh for years, much to my mom’s annoyance. And, two, there is an entire site called Get Off My Internets pretty much dedicated to airing grievances about bloggers that people hate read. I can’t seem to figure out what exactly it is that compels me (and everyone else) towards this irrational behavior. Do we like being annoyed or angry? Does it make us feel good to point out another person's irrationality or irritating habits?  Do we feel vindicated when that blogger we hates post something stupid again because HA we were sooo right about them? Or are we just eagerly awaiting their downfall...

Any ideas anyone? I’m hoping if I figure out what’s driving this maybe I could stop it…not likely. 

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