To Gwyneth Paltrow, facing a barrage of negative and anonymous Internet comments is almost akin to dodging bullets or bombs in war.
The actress who recently “consciously uncoupled” from her husband Chris Martin has often been accused of being out of touch, and she may have outdone herself the day after Memorial Day when speaking about how “our culture is trying to wrestle with the idea that everybody has a voice, and how it’s unimportant and really important at the same time.”
“You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanizing thing. It’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it,” Paltrow said at a tech conference hosted by Re/Code. “My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience.”
Paltrow said while the Internet provides an “amazing” opportunity for people to “mature and learn,” it “also allows us the opportunity to project outward our hatred, our jealousy. It’s culturally acceptable to be an anonymous commenter. It’s culturally acceptable to say, ‘I’m just going to take all of my internal pain and externalize it anonymously.'”
“It’s taken me a long time to get to the point where I can see these things and not take it as a personal affront and a hurt. I see myself as a chalkboard or a whiteboard or a screen, and someone is just putting up their own projection on it,” Paltrow added. “It has nothing to do with me. They have an internal object, and they’re putting it on me. I kind of look at it as, ‘Wow this is an interesting social experiment.’ You’re talking about a blind stranger having feelings about you. It can only be projection.”
She continued by reportedly saying, “We’re in this very adolescent phase. It’s dangerous, [because] we lack the capacity to say, ‘Why does this matter to me, and who am I in this?’ ‘Why am I having opinions about Angelina Jolie’s operation?’ ‘What is unhealed in me?’ ‘Why am I using the Internet to do this?'”