The Internet has Desensitised Me. Now Nothing Shocks Me.

September 27, 2007

My friend said to me the other day that he was worried and I asked him why. He replied he was worried that after seeing so much weird, perverted, violent stuff on the internet from when he was a teenager he now no longer is shocked by it. The example he gave was that in 4chan there is a Hentai Section with normal Hentai in it and a Hentai/Alternative section with tentacle rape, dick girls and other strange Hentai related images. He didn’t realise that the Hentai alternative section wasn’t the normal Hentai section for ages. He didn’t even realise there was a normal Hentai section. To him this was just normal, he didn’t find it shocking. When he said that I realised that I too thought that /d/ the Hentai Alternative section on 4chan was just for normal Hentai too. Is it really like that? Is the fact we have been exposed to things like goatse and tubgirl and really weird Hentai from a young age mean that things that shock everyone else are just the norm to us now? I had to investigate why and how this happened.

4chan is the first thing we need to look at when thinking about why Geeks and Internet Addicts are desensitised to the horrors of the Internet. I mean it’s not the worst site on the Internet by far but like there are things in /b/ that would disgust any normal person. I don’t go in /b/ but I have been a regular on an IRC chat channel since I was about 17 that loves /b/. It’s an anime related IRC chat channel that never talks about Anime. It’s all rape, sex, violence and gross outs mostly. But the thing is every time something disgusting from /b/ was linked, or something totally racist or something about rape or Loli I never batted an eyelid. I was just like *click**look**lol**close*. Is this bad? Because I know I’m not the only person out there with a sense of humour so much in the gutter. I know many people who find things that I find funny that a lot of people would just be grossed out by. Have we crossed a line or are we just a new kind of culture? Forget the MTV Generation we are the 4chan Generation.

Another friend of mine finds Anime quite disturbing. A few years back we were sitting in Borders and I was going down the Onegai Teacher art book and squeeing at the goodness inside. He pointed out that one of the girls rolling around in her underwear very much exposed looked like she was about 14 years old. I said “No no she has a condition that makes her look that way. Like the boy doesn’t look his age. She’s actually 21 or something”. He looked at me funny because I had quite calmly explained why the fact she was an obvious Loli wasn’t actually that bad because of the story of the Anime. He responded with “But she still looks 14. That doesn’t change that” and I shrugged and told him he just didn’t understand Anime. Anime is a strange medium I think because there really are no boundaries. It’s like.. anything goes. So we watch things that you would never ever see on TV in the West and then just think nothing of them after that. Like they banned an episode of Pokemon in the West where James was in a Bikini and had huge breasts. It was ok to air in Japan to the kids but here it was too controversial.

I think now that everyone has access to the internet its pretty hard to not become desensitised to things. They worry about violent films on the TV making their kids desensitised to things but to be fair it’s probably seeing photos of people smashed against trains or the after math of car crashes on the internet that’s doing it. I don’t know if it’s such a bad thing. I mean I am hardly a bad person, I have a good moral conscience and know right from wrong. So I laugh at things some people would think are sensitive areas or couldn’t find funny. That’s hardly making me evil. I think I am hardly alone in my being desensitized to a lot of bad things and therefore that hardly makes me a freak on nature.

You never know though. I may find something shocking one day and not laugh at it.



  1. Love the website.

    This post raises a really good point that i haven’t given much thought to till now. I am not really a regular at 4chan, i tend to check it when i want a new wallpaper or have the urge to see some pantie shots *^^*

    Anyway, anime does contain alot of violence and certainly alot of “smut” as it were. If i were to be so bold, they are actually quite perverted when compaired to UK. Grown men adoring children under 16 isn’t treated with half as much suspicion as it would be in the UK. But it’s certainly true that as a society we have become less and less phased by real violence as a result of the internet. Being able to see the most disturbing and horrible things at the click of a button from a young age kinda makes us all a little bit sick and corrupted. Some things can still turn my stomach but not like it used to.

  2. Thanks Chris (: Hope you will read more!

    It was something I never gave much thought to either until my friend bought it up actually! But once you start thinking about it you kind of can’t stop!

    It’s true that Japanese society and here in the UK and in the USA are different and what they show on TV in Japan is really never going to get shown over here! I’m sure I can get grossed out at some point but it’s getting harder and harder to shock me. I think because lots of us are like this now it doesn’t feel like it’s such a bad thing!

  3. good read! very good read! ill post more when i remember because im in school right now
    though very enjoyable read

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