Aurthor's notes: This is one of my post that should be taken seriously and solemnly. And while you may read most of what I write as sarcasm or satire, keep in mind this post is in neither style. This is, in fact, a message that I had in my mind since freshman year of high school (Good times...not) that I wanted to share with others, but don't really know how to express it until recently. It's still, in my mind, a rough idea and perhaps a little bit flawed or far-fetched, but this is perhaps the farthest I got to finishing it, and I really take this topic to heart. So please take my modesty fully and, weather you agree or disagree with the topic at hand, be light on the criticism. Thank you.
So it's a little after nine right now at my house and I'm bored. And what do teenagers do when they're bored? Well, they go to Facebook. And as I was casually looking through status updates, one particular (one of my friends - call him Joe) caught my eye. "Today sucked..." it read. Couple of minutes later, another person (a football player) comment on it, saying "Who the f*$& cares about you?". Another couple of minutes later, Joe's friends came on the spot, defending him and launching insults right back at the football player himself. Pretty soon this whole thing escalated uncontrollably, and each side began to launch random irritates and threats toward each other, calling each other fags or to "Get a life moron!". Pretty soon, the whole thing wasn't even about Joe anymore.
And all this because of one comment.
Sadly, the truth is that this isn't a unique case to what has been happening with the Internet. Just go to any message board or blog and there will always be a example of spammers, trolls and people just looking to cause trouble. It's the drawback and perhaps, greatest flaw of one of the world's largest and open forum: anyone can join, and anyone can almost do what they want.
But the problem isn't that the Internet is not safe. The problem is that the we are making the Internet not safe. People chose to troll other websites. People chose to write viruses and cheat. People chose to take advantage of the flaws and capitalize on even the smallest mistakes.
Why do we do such acts? I'm sure that I'm not the only one in the world that believes humans are morally good. We try to do the right thing as often as possible. Yet, when we're on the Internet, that instinct is reversed: we prey and criticize on bias and incomplete thoughts.
Maybe it's the safety that drives us. That feeling of being anonymous, only showing a handle or a nickname or a crappy email address that hasn't been activated in five years. That safety that tells us, we can write what we want and nobody can retaliate except writing back. Maybe its the safety of the Internet that also causing its downfall.
Or maybe it's because of the majority. Maybe it's because that we feel obligated to join in the chaos because many are also doing trolling the Internet. As humans, we have a need to fit in with society, and sometimes that need can drives us to do impossible, even unethical things just to be able to say to someone else: "I did the same thing you did! Now can we finally talk?". Maybe its us that is causing the Internet to embroil such hostility.
Whatever the reason, the world is slowly, gradually deteriorating because of it.
Look at the news and you see people hurting, if not dying through bullying, mistreatment or even humiliation. What's to say the Internet is causing some of this behavior too? We seen this through other various electronics like video games, what's to say that the Internet could follow? I personally don't even know any of you in real life, so why should I make judgments based on what you say (and vice versa)?
I'm not saying that the Internet is bad, or message boards are bad, or Facebook is bad. I'm saying it's time for us to wake up - to realize that we are all contributing to the filth and chaos and madness. It's our responsibility to make the Internet a better place, and now I encourage all of you to make a difference as well. After all, if my generation has already credit technology with their real life violence, what would my children (or some of your older folks, hehe, your grandchildren) do when it's their turn to go online?
Thank you for your time, and I hope this was a good read. Feel free to make suggestions in the comments.