I think the pandemic really divided people and made us aware of our deep ideological differences. We are all individuals, not ideologies.
As someone who has always lived in a big city, I don't find people cruel, just suspicious. There are a lot of users out there and some people have been used many times and put up a shell around themselves, and understandably so. Women for instance - when I was young I sure got tired of every guy thinking I owed him a smile or a conversation just because I'm female. They don't understand it is predatory - they wouldn't tell another guy to smile or risk getting their teeth punched in.
So, I guess I wonder what you mean by cruelty? Does it just mean people seem cold, or are you talking about stories from the news?