It alarms me how today’s generation has perpetuated ignorance and close mindedness in social media and other online platforms despite the abundance of information in the internet. I observe that the power given to them for free expression is used recklessly instead of responsibly, often spawning really tasteless jokes and memes, wasteful comment wars, and display of brutal insensitivity. Is it true that this generation has become dumb when it comes to respect and judgment? It is time for us to be reminded that open-mindedness must be raised to a higher bar.
Over time, internet use has increased rapidly, and that means that most of today’s activities rely on that virtual universe. People can both acquire and share information about almost every topic in the planet through the internet. Maybe someone from years ago thought of building communities and conversations and of creating forums which have now evolved into social media websites.
The “comment” box has become a staple in almost every social media website. It does not say which kind of comment we have to put. It encourages us to speak – and it is truly effective. People now automatically say what is on their minds without filtering them. People throw negative comments, make derogatory and prejudiced accusations, and the use of swear words often censored on TV has become widespread. It is as if everyone has to talk and criticize all the time.
The anonymity of our internet persona adds to the kick that we get from being overtly opinionated. When we comment online and someone disagrees, there is a marginal possibility that someone might attack us face-to-face upon reading the comment. Although we can be a victim of social media bullying, we can simply get away with the issue by staying offline for weeks (however hard it is for others). With the easy spread of information through the internet, it does not take great effort to create a thread of comments that are both criticizing and self-righteous. Even swear words can alternatively be spelled and their essence is not censored immediately.
On the other hand, using the internet does not mean that we always have to put cotton candy and rainbow-like topics. We can still have fun and find entertainment without having to laugh at other people’s choices. Also, we can still be serious yet avoid hurtful and derogatory statements. It is up to us to read more information and find the right set of words to use before making comments. In other words, think before typing and pressing enter.
The internet is invented as an alternative means for communication and through the years, it has proven to be highly efficient in delivering messages in various formats – from text, to photo, to recorded video, and live streaming. IN a short time, the internet has become an alternate universe of various languages and conversations, often containing topics from the non-virtual universe we live in. The words we put online may make sense or contain truth to a certain extent, but words are empowering and thought-provoking. They send many signals and cause volatile emotions to uproar. Also, words can equally cause peace and harmony. Even though freedom is given to us, it does not give us license to spread hate. In the first place, the internet’s primary purpose is to connect with other people and it defeats this purpose if we bash each other. In other words, as a precaution, we should refrain from using the comment box without educating and informing ourselves first.
Roland Andre Malic is a creative writer and blogger who took writing and speech courses in TalkShop, under the guidance of Sheila Viesca, CEO and Director of Communication. Still finding out his niche in life, he is on the way to self-discovery by traversing creative ventures, a step at a time, which include writing and blogging. He also finds joy in watching mind-boggling films, reading about art and history, and exploring musicians and artists from eclectic genres.