Theodore Dalrymple:

The question, then, is whether, 30 years ago, all the rage expressed by these insults, threats and menaces existed but simply went unexpressed, or whether the ability to express it actually called it into existence. Does our ability now to communicate the first thing that comes into our head alter the nature of the first thing that comes into our head? After all, anger is a habit like any other and, as everyone knows (if he is honest with himself), there is a certain pleasure in being angry.

In addition, if you express anger on behalf of someone else — Charlie Gard, for example — you have the additional pleasure of thinking that you must be a good, generous soul concerned for the welfare of others.

Many people still seem to subscribe to a hydraulic theory of emotions, in which the “pressure” of anger needs to be released in the form of “blowing off steam,” lest the engine overheat and explode. As a glance through social media will show you, though, people habituated to expressing anger only become more motivated to do it. When the Buddhists wanted to invent the worst kind of hell, they described a place of constant anger and aggression and called it Naraka, which I believe is Sanskrit for “Twitter.”