Why Anger is the Most Viral Emotion on Social Media

Why Anger is the Most Viral Emotion on Social Media

Anger is money, plain and simple.

It’s easy to spread and easy to capitalize on.

The recent events in our world – from the circus of the US political race to the tragedy of terrorism to the fear of the unknown – are prime examples of profitable hate.

You see a Facebook post that angers you.

It doesn’t matter if you agree with it or not. It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not.

You get angry and want to share that anger, so you like, comment and share, and spread that feeling to others.

Meanwhile publishers continue covering and pushing the story as more and more people jump in on the action because they profit from a viral story.

So with any event, the stories that get spread the most are those that pit us against them.

Hate is extremely tolerant – it doesn’t care if something is true or not. It’ll latch onto anything that causes anger.

[bctt tweet=”Hate is extremely tolerant – it doesn’t care if something is true or not.”]


How the Internet Can Be Such a Hateful Place

Thoughts and ideas are like germs. They spread from one person to another, and your brain is the host.

The internet has become an incredible place for spreading ideas. Thoughts can be quickly passed on to a lot of people very fast. There’s no incubation period.

This can be a great thing. We love stories that makes us laugh, that make us cry, that inspire us, that educate us, and that makes us better.

But what we love more are stories that anger us.

Anger happens to spread faster online than any other emotion.


Why We Love to Be Angry

Ideas have a lifespan. If an idea isn’t spread fast enough, it eventually dies in our brain.

Anger eventually dies too. If we’re all in agreement that we’re all angry about the same thing, that thought doesn’t stay very long.

There aren’t a lot of arguments online about cancer because we all agree it’s a bad thing.

But what makes anger volatile is when there is an enemy.

The most viral stories are those that pit people against each other. As long as there is an “us” and there is a “them,” anger will continue to be fueled.

It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong. It isn’t even about winning. Because if one side “wins,” there’s nothing left to be angry about.

But on split issues where the other side becomes the enemy, anger just feeds the conflict even more. Each side needs the other for anger to survive.

Related Read: We’re Killing Ourselves with Arrogance & Selfishness


Watch the Ideas You Absorb and Spread

So why does this matter?

Because anger leads to hate, and hate leads to violence.

With all the recent events in the world, anger is winning. The thoughts, ideas and stories that are spread the fastest and widest are those that create the other group as the enemy.

Whether it’s terrorism, gun control, politics, religion, immigration, or any other hot button topic, you’re bound to take a side. What’s dangerous is that the side you take will most likely paint those who disagree as enemies.

Opinions morph quickly from thoughts on an issue to anger towards those who disagree.

Debates are no longer about the best idea winning. They’re about the loudest and angriest group being the most destructive.

[bctt tweet=”Debates have become about the loudest and angriest group being the most destructive.”]

When you like, comment and share on those posts, you become a carrier for the hate virus, regardless of what side you’re on.


Kill the Virus

Hate only exists when it’s spread.

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate – but if just them, it dies in their minds.

But if you take it, you keep the hate alive. It doesn’t even matter if you’re on their side or not. Whether you share their hate or share hate against them, it’s all the same. They just fuel each other.

Be calm. Don’t combat anger. Just ignore it and you’ll destroy it.

Be smart. Make sure any story is absolutely true before you share it.

Be humble. Admit that you could be wrong.

Be kind. Share goodness. Spread love. That’s also pretty infectious.


This post was based off a video that talks about it more in-depth. It’s very entertaining and educational, and definitely worth 7 minutes of your time:


“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Romans 12:21

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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