The internet has brought us a lot of ease in our lives. We can keep in touch with friends. Social networking, need I say more. Online bill pay. Google to find simple answers. Maps. Phone numbers. The list goes on and on and on.
It also however provides a way to be anonymously mean and angry. This is what I don't like about the internet. It often gives forums to people to say anything thing they want. Things I don't think they would say with out the safe shield of the computer screen. Let's be honest who hasn't said something in a chat or e-mail that they wouldn't say in person? Even the best of us have done it.
There in lies the problem. Now I know I am going to get some slack for this example but whatever we all have guilty pleasures. I enjoy watching the show 19 kids and counting, featuring the Duggar family. I do not agree with them on many things. If you know me you know the fact that I wore a dress to my own wedding was a stretch for me. I cut my hair regularly. I have NO desire to have 19 children. Politically and religiously we are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Yet I am fascinated by the logistics it takes to "run" a family of this size. So a week ago I googled a recipe that I thought I may have seen on their show (I couldn't remember where I saw it.) I found whole pages and blogs dedicated to hating this family. This family who these people have never met. While I understand putting yourself out there you are going to get critics, this just seemed so well mean. First of all who has time on their hands to dedicate whole web pages to this? Second would this happen if there was no internet? People would just be like that is ridiculous maybe send some hate mail or CHANGE THE CHANEL.
The problem is it's not just celebrity and reality TV types this is happening to. Watch the news and see all the teenagers taking their own lives because of online bullying.
The problem is two part really have you ever met someone who takes everything that happens on the internet way too seriously? I have. Sometimes you want to say it's the internet, not real life. I have been guilty of this myself. Then the things people say that are so well just plain mean. The non-editing because of the anonymity is dangerous.
There is also the illusion of knowing someone. You read a blog, friend them on facebook or follow them on twitter where they tell you what they ate for lunch. You begin to feel like you know them but you have never even had a conversation with them. This is especially dangerous for younger folks I think.
Lastly, my favorite, people who believe everything they read on the internet is true. I could create a website teaching how the sky is actually red and people might believe it because it is on the web.
It's a dangerous cocktail. All too often becoming toxic.
Just a reflection. Your thoughts encouraged.