This post will likely be Pt. 2 of my me-diatribe, as the PBS documentary provided oodles more examples of how culture is being corroded by ceaseless tides of media.
I’ll start with a key argument provided by advocates of omnipresent tech: it helps us by allowing more people to communicate and share ideas.
Aside from the general loss of quality when comparing face to face with online interaction, the argument could be made that this ability to share ideas has gone too far. For example, take the kid who killed himself. Sure, he may have had self esteem issues, but he wasn’t a bad looking guy, and given a few years, likely would have ascended beyond his angst. However, using the internet’s unlimited scope, he found a “friend” who discussed and actively encouraged suicide, ultimately leading the child to take his life. Without internet, this wouldn’t have been possible, and positive, real life interaction likely would have steered the poor lad clear of his troubles.
Another example would be the ease of access to information on how to create weapons (homemade bombs etc.). There are far more examples to the contrary, but the fact remains that the internet’s scope is too large, or not guarded enough.
I personally have not instigated a suicide online, but have abused it’s anonymity many times over the years. One example hearkens back all the way to 8th grade, when I created a fake AOL screen name and posed as an obsessive girl while chatting with one of my friends. He knew this girl in real life, and after an hour or two of insinuations and blunt statements, he was thoroughly convinced it was her, and was not amused. This was not fair to him, or the girl whose reputation I hijacked, and I am ashamed of it.
Later on in highschool, I, along with a few friends, created an account on chubbychasers.com, where overweight homosexuals, or “or bears”, go to find a tiny counterpart. We posed as an attractive young lad, taking risque pictures from a random source on the internet, and got quite a response. It was fun to reply to these people, but also disturbing, and had we wanted, we easily could have gotten someone to come across the country in hopes of hooking up. I considered this briefly, and am glad that I didn’t follow through. Things could have gone up in flames very quickly.
In summation, the anonymity and breadth of content that the ‘net provides, while not inherently bad, is a veritable playground for negative ideas and deeds to take place, and can prove deadly. Thus, people need to seriously consider what they’re doing, and what could happen as a result of their actions. BE RESPONSIBLELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL