There are so many aspects of Internet psychology and social media psychology that are incredibly fascinating to me. If I didn’t already love what I do, I would study to be an Internet psychologist. Not only do I think there needs to be more awareness about how the Internet can affect our brains, I’ve personally experienced the wackiest and weirdest Internet-related situations ever. I guess that happens when you’re plugged-in and online for almost all your waking hours each day like I am.
Today I’d like to share with you a very specific part of that overall Internet psychology which contains 5 new emotions that were basically invented by the Internet. This information about Internet psychology was originally posted on a blog called Thought Catalog in text format, and then graphic artist Pei-Ying Lin took that information and created this infographic below to present it in a more visual way. If this is something you are interested in, I highly recommend clicking over to the Thought Catalog site so you can read the in-depth explanation for each one. I love this kind of stuff, and I could read about Internet psychology all day long.
Just to make it easier, I will list these 5 new emotions (and by the way, I’m sure there are more than 5). When you think about the fact that these were created by the Internet, think about how you probably never felt these emotions at all until you were online. For example, our grandparents never felt these, which seems strange to even type.
1. That vague and annoying pang of anxiety that only happens when an IM window (Skype chat, text, etc.) has stopped. In other words, that feeling of…”Why hasn’t she answered? Maybe she’s AFK and just didn’t say she was leaving.” There is a whole vicious cycle revolving around this emotion and the Internet psychology behind it which you can read more about on Thought Catalog.
2. A sudden, irrational rage in response to reading an “@ reply” on Twitter (or a Facebook post, etc.) – Have you felt that? It’s a knee-jerk reaction to what you might have seen a complete stranger post on a social media site. Our hearts beat faster and our faces can get flush. Yep, been there done that. Again, you can read more about this one on Thought Catalog.
3. The state of being plugged-in at your computer with new real purpose for an extended period of time – it’s a strange kind of anxiety undercut with something like desperation. We’ve all done this, right? Imagine those times when you’ve finished your work, and you are just sitting there mindlessly. Your eyes are blurry, and you don’t even know why you are still on your computer. You start behaving like a drone, and for a moment, you lose yourself in the loneliness.
4. That weird “I shouldn’t be doing this, but I need and want to do this” feeling we get which is like shame and desire all mixed together when we do things on the Internet that we think we shouldn’t do. This can happen when we spy on ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends on Facebook, when we look at Internet porn, or even when we just watch a YouTube video that we think is stupid and a waste of time. There is a whole Internet psychology behind this behavior.
5. The powerless, fatigued and disconnected feeling we get when we spend a lot of time writing or researching something online, and then we get defiled for some reason and we walk away from it. This is an emotion felt when we start filling out a form, and it times-out before we can submit it and all our information is lost. It can also happen when we start to write a long comment in response to someone’s post, but then after writing several paragraphs, we decide it’s inappropriate so we delete the whole thing. Or, when we write a blog post and then realize it can’t be published for some reason.
Like I said, I’m sure there are more than 5 emotions (and other aspects of Internet psychology) that only began when we all started living online. The strange thing is, the ones I’ve listed here don’t have specific names, so for now, they will just remain vague emotions that we can only describe in the context in which they’re felt. I hope if this struck a chord with you that you’ll leave a comment below. I’d love to know your thoughts on this small segment of Internet psychology.
Internet Psychology: New Emotions Invented By The Internet
(Click Infographic To Enlarge)