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IT’S ALL THE RAGE THESE DAYS – LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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“Wait….WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?”

Why is it these days that statement comes up more and more when we all go on social media? Unfortunately, it’s because of a type of “communicating” known as “Rage Baiting (or Rage-Farming). Chances are at some point in your lifetime of interactions, you’ve encountered this on a platform or two.

Over the years, it has continued to grow and become something of a staple of the digital age. So, what is it, how did it get to this level and where do we go from here? Let’s take a closer look at the issue and what, if anything, can quiet the rage from engulfing you, the reader/listener in its’ path.

WHAT IS “RAGE-BAITING”?

In its’ simplest form, these are posts and comments that are solely focused on drawing a negative reaction for interaction. A statement SO shocking that it throws more fuel on a fire to grow it into an inferno. More and more, this tactic is being used with the growth of social media. Much like what was discussed in the last Letters to the Editor, with everyone having access, what makes someone stand out from the pact?

It is a question of content that will always catch a viewer or listener’s attention. The audience looks to connect. What do you provide to connect with? Once someone gives their attention, how does someone else keep it? Some rely on facts and constructive conversation. Others lean into “hot takes” or Shocking reactions to draw a response or click. This is where the fine line of conversation and sensationalism cross paths and ultimately divide.

“IT’S HASN’T BEEN RELEASED, BUT!!!”

Recently, there has been a great deal of attention with this issue involving a few different fandoms. As the entertainment industry gets back to business after the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, new projects are being released. Future ones are on the way with castings eventually being announced. As these moments symbolize new content, they haven’t gone without a few “rage-baiting” along the way.

And that’s where the problems lie.

It seems as soon as a new Marvel or DC film news story is announced, there are immediately panning comments or a post throwing out something negative without knowing the full story. With these “hot takes”, the audience is getting worked up to click on those sites and/or creators are the ones laughing all the way about it.

Why? simple.

They won your attention and time. For a brief moment, YOU drew a reaction that was followed by a comment or click to find out more. And after giving up said time and attention, where did it all lead?

As bad as this is concerning Comic Book movies, it is as equal if not worse than dealing with pro-wrestling fandoms. Depending on how passionate the allegiance is to either WWE or AEW*, the “mob mentality” of their extreme fans on social media has spilled over into some vicious comments that have only bred toxicity in various forms.

And yet, fans continue to go back and engage with all of them. Little do they know that they’re basically talking into a void. Once that begins, the cause of the “rage baiting” is already thinking: “What can I say next?” while looking at their click totals and other factors of why they’re doing it.

The follower count goes up. The views go up. The rage keeps building with each post and click. It’s because the audience feels the need to react. This might work when it’s in-person conversation, but not when someone can easily turn off notifications and leave the comments on mute.

“Sheep Mentality Only Leads to Slaughter” – The E.I.C.

With the problem diagnosed, what can we as fans do to combat it? It’s actually simpler than one would think:

Set the example by being better with your actions

It falls back to the old saying “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to see it, did it make a sound?”. If you know that an account or creator is purposely rage-baiting, why are you giving them your most precious resource: your time? If you are not giving them the interaction, there is no click. Once that’s gone, the only thing left is an empty take.

Meanwhile, give a great counter to the rage sites with your own outlets. Be excited for a fandom and boost it up with your personal opinions. Watch everything and enjoy it (especially with pro-wrestling). Focus your time and energy on what truly matters: Celebrating the era of “nerd culture” we live in instead of raging against it.

Till Next time….

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Ken M.
Ken M.https://odphpodcast.com/
Executive Producer/Host of the ODPH (Ocho Duro Parlay Hour) Podcast. Ken is also Nerd Initiative's Comics Editor-In-Chief/Brand Advisor and host of "Turn A Page". Ken is also a freelance Pro Wrestling Blogger and an all around fan of Sports, Movies Tv, Comics and Pro Wrestling

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