Why Do We Idolize Jerks?
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In the same way, digital natives aren’t as disturbed as their parents are by the snark and assholism endemic in the online world, not because the perpetrators aren’t assholes, but because they’re relatively harmless ones. It’s a curious feature of the age that the forms of assholism that people find most alarming tend to be those that have less drastic effects on their daily lives. Abusive blog comments are easier to ignore or shrug off than rude remarks from people behind you in the line at the DMV. But for just that reason, the more remote and impersonal forms of assholism are easier to engage in without rippling one’s conscience too much. And while these activities don’t generally inflict the personal injuries that assholism can at work or school, they can be enormously destructive of the fabric of public life.