When did it become cool to be toxic?
Written by: Chloe King
The word "toxic" seems to be everywhere lately, but just how did it gain its power? From group messages with the girls, to Twitter posts, and Tik Toks giving advice on "how to be toxic", it seems to have become a trend - Or maybe even a way of life.
Along with toxicity, gaslighting is also a phrase being thrown around a lot. While gaslighting and manipulation are nothing new, they are being normalized by Tik Tok and other social media platforms, to the point where creators give step-by-step tutorials on "how to be toxic". I think both being toxic and gaslighting have become so trendy, for lack of better terms, as a result of our constant attachment to our phones. Although our generation has access to countless different means of communication through our phones and social media platforms, we are still no better at communicating than the generations before us. We might even be worse.
Personally, I have watched my friends be "toxic" in relationships, simply because they are guarding their hearts and would rather hurt the other person first before the other person gets a chance to hurt them. Are we so afraid of getting hurt that we would rather play games with other people's emotions than take the risk of getting hurt ourselves?
So often we see people being "toxic" purely for the fun of it all. In this age of dating apps and social media, I think a lot of us have made a game out of dating and forget that there is a real person on the other side of it. Frankly, I'm guilty of it too. I find myself mindlessly swiping through Bumble quite often like it's just a game rather than actual dating. This dehumanizes dating to a certain extent, so much that our generation has become comfortable with toying with others' emotions just for kicks and giggles.
Just when you thought dating during a pandemic couldn't get any more difficult, social media has introduced "toxicity" into the mix. So I challenge you to soften your heart and swipe, text and snap with empathy. Good luck out there.