How much does the internet make things seem more widespread?

Spending time on the internet, especially places like Tumblr and Facebook, can make some subcultures, personal convictions, and events seem bigger compared to real life.

How much of it is overblown? A few examples of my observations :

-Shit That Didn’t Happen: This often consists of anecdotes of the narrator’s experiences at work, with family , etc. The common pattern here is someone disrespects the narrator, and they give a scathing riposte. We are lead to believe the narrator in question is incredibly witty. Bystanders in the story are unrealistically impressed with the narrator “and everyone stood up and applauded”.

-Social Justice Warriors whose causes and hills they choose to die on get a little suspect. Some people have told me that Tumblr runs very young, and that many of these SJW’s are just angsty teens developing their opinions and passions. Which would explain a lot of the content- When someone is nineteen they are complaining about how hard it is living as a sapioromantic demisexiual, but as they get older they get a little more comfortable with who they are.

-People who spout hateful tea party rhetoric online, are they really as hateful in real life or do they just save it for the internet?

I agree. Sure seems like there must be a lot of relatively empty spleens around the planet. On the other hand, I’m old enough to look at a world-spanning interactive information network and think “Wow, I’m in a science fiction story from my youth!”

ETA : Just saw your join date. Welcome to the Straight Dope!

All I know is that if a story starts off with “This actually happened…”, then it’s $100% true.

I think alot depends upon a persons experience during the event. If say grandpa is a Vietnam vet he will tell it from a soldiers perspective. If Grandpa was a peace activist and spent the time doing protests he will tell it from that side.

In bost cases from what I’ve seen they will try and justify their actions.