Chronically Online: Meaning Explained
Have you ever wondered why some people lack a sense of reality, barely associate with people, or neglect important issues and find faults in others, taking unimportant situations personally?
It would interest you to know that most of them are chronically online. “Chronically online” is a term used for a selfish and extremely sensitive person. Since social norms and modern culture have changed dramatically over the years, it has stopped the busy life of most people.
Some people work from home, and it has made the consumption of media increase. Young people, especially, turned to social media as a means to create some connection with other humans. Though it is a good alternative to socializing, it has created problems with how people perceive others.
Some social-media users don’t understand that not everyone they choose to surround themselves with online has the same opinions. In this article, you’ll learn the meaning of chronically online and its examples, and you will also know if chronically online is a response to cancel culture.
What Does “Chronically Online” Mean?
Chronically online is a phrase that is also known as extremely online. It refers to people who take online posts very important that they spend most of their time on the internet to the point that they rarely go offline and, as a result, lose touch with the real world or life.
Though they might have the goal of making life a better place for everyone, in the real sense, they’re making it worse. Their interaction with the people they choose online has bled into their real life and their expectations of people’s thoughts.
Examples of Being Chronically Online
A person chronically online can’t do without finding something offensive. They’re well known for just jumping to conclusions about an issue or canceling people instead of educating someone on what they’re doing wrong.
The funny part is that they don’t apply this attitude when they’re not sitting behind a screen and online. Their opinions are very out of touch with the real world.
For example, trigger warnings are important for things like flashing lights that could cause mentions of mental illness, epileptic seizures, and speaking about abuse; it is not necessary for personal phobias and mentioning a specific person. People online have somehow thought they deserve pampering and coddling for these things when they are not.
In a situation where you constantly expect other people to adjust how they are acting or what they are speaking about to make you comfortable, you will be very surprised and sometimes disappointed when they do not.
But this is not a justification for hatred and bigotry because you are aware that they are and have been socially not acceptable. A person chronically online does not understand this. In light of social issues in discussions online, their views are very different, and they tend to attack with words.
They often make online interactions more important than real-life interactions. They believe that things with great effects on online culture have a comparable effect on offline culture even when they don’t.
Social World of Being Chronically Online
These sets of people have no real-life friends and are certainly unfamiliar with things outside the internet, but they can tell you nearly everything is happening online.
According to Amanda Brennan, a meme librarian explains that the phrase “chronically online” evokes a particular mindset as “someone who is deep inside the internet culture hive-mind who sees things in a certain way.”
She tells us, “It’s hard to put words to, but they are people who understand what happens on social media or other internet platforms, and you don’t need to explain certain things about these circles when you tell a story.”
For example, if you say “Slow down, alright?” to a chronically online person, they’ll understand instantly that you’re talking about a recent viral trend where some TikTokers make a video to this sound.
They do this with a text overlay describing a comical situation where someone would need to slow you down or hold you back from doing something. Meanwhile, for someone who isn’t chronically online, you would need to explain the context behind the phrase “slow down, alright?”
Another example of a chronically online situation is the “wife guy.” It was about a guy who posts about his wife on Twitter. Despite the label of “stupid online thing,” which spent several years as a piece of Internet slang, it became the subject of five articles in leading U.S. media outlets in 2019.
In one of the tweets he posted, someone shouted outside his house that he should log off, but the character refused to stop using the internet. Do you think he remembers that there is a world after the internet?
Is Chronically Online a Response to Cancel Culture?
The status of chronically online might and might not be done to react to cancel culture. Knowing what cancel culture means would give a better idea of how to respond to the question above.
Cancel culture, also known as call-out culture, is a phrase existing to the late 2010s and early 2020s. Most use it to refer to a situation where one is in exclusion from society or a group. This exclusion can be on social media, online, or in person.
Dr. Jill McCorkel says, “Societies have punished people for centuries for behaving outside of the perceived social norms, and this (cancel culture) is just another variation.” People used the word ostracism to define this phrase better. Those subject to this ostracism or those excluded are said to have been “canceled.”
The cancel culture has mostly negative implications, which people use in censorship and free speech debates. The concept of cancel culture deals with “canceling” brands, public figures, or individuals that have done or said something offensive or judged wrong by society.
Some critics argue that cancel culture horrifies public discourse, does not bring real change, is unproductive, amounts to cyber-bullying, and causes intolerance. Others argue that whatever calls for “cancellation” are a form of freedom of expression and that they give less powerful people a voice, promote accountability, and are simply another form of boycotting.
Cancel Culture Trend
Cancel culture is rigid, and through the influence of social media become a negative trend in society. It results in more harm than good and is equally popular as a toxic concept.
It has somehow surfaced on almost every social media platform and is thriving in this season of life. People who see this in social media struggle with the temptation to jump on the bandwagon of group shaming.
But then, someone who is chronically online can do it just by tapping their phone or clicking their keyboard. It is not surprising that social media remains the leading factor for why cancel culture is so popular today.
Through social media, canceling someone has become much easier. Someone new can experience cancellation daily, like celebrities, television shows, brands, and movies. People now choose to cancel those with little offense or smaller actions rather than canceling those committing crimes.
A chronically online person would tell you the main use of social media is to share opinions; of course, they are responses to cancel culture. A chronically online person can experience cancel culture since they lack a sense of reality.
This can be a teaching moment to get people to think before speaking. It can also hold someone accountable for their statements or behaviors. Other reasons for canceling culture include getting the person to consider the consequences of their statements. Or it can be exposed to racism or sexism.
Amanda Brennan, the meme librarian, still explains that the mindset of being ‘chronically online’ isn’t necessarily referring only to people who spend a lot of time on social media.
She explained, “I recently met a woman who grew up in a similar punk scene as I did. There’s just this tacit understanding of the kind of boys we met in high school. The emotions we felt from how the songs made us feel at 15, the ways we prioritized “being cool” – a basic understanding we got from being in a place at a certain time.”
And that’s so comparable to what chronically online is. It involves people experiencing the ups and downs of internet culture. They have similar feelings about their relationship with it and experience similar emotions by partaking in this experience.
Amanda noted that this chronically online mindset had become a meme in and of itself. Because many more people have entered this chronically online mindset. And understanding after the pandemic forced many people to move most of their social interactions online.
Amanda continued, “And on the other side of the coin, we are seeing many more people online who lack this mindset. And they notice the contrasting thought patterns between these pockets of people.”
What to Do if Being Chronically Online Becomes a Problem?
Kelsey says, “The typical advice is to ‘touch grass’ – to log off and know there’s a world away from the internet. But I know that being online is an integral part of our lives for many people.”
Amanda says, ‘My advice is to take the thought spirals you might have and write them out. Follow the argument thread all the way through. “You don’t always have to be out in the world to have a rich life. But you should always consider that the people you interact with online are real no matter how they present themselves.”