From time to time, I have heard Bob Cesca suggest on his podcast, when discussing some particularly egregious “social” media mischief, that “we are not ready for the internet.”
Now comes psychologist Glenn Geher to say much the same thing, using the slightly more scholarly term of “evolutionary mismatch.” Here’s a bit from his article (emphasis added):
The human mind evolved under conditions that are, in many ways, quite different from the conditions that so many of us find ourselves in today. During the lion’s share of evolutionary history, human communication was exclusively of the face-to-face variety. Remote forms of human communication did not come on the scene until well after agriculture emerged about 10,000 years ago. In terms of organic evolutionary processes, 10,000 years is a blink of an eye. We, you and I, right now, have minds that evolved for ancestral, face-to-face communication.
Our minds did not evolved for large-scale remote communication. In fact, when people communicate with others who have their identities partly or fully concealed, as is so often the case with remote communication, a very general pattern emerges: People behave badly.
Methinks he has a point.