Sunday, July 25, 2010


Ya know, back in the 1990s I use to love internet forums. The way people from all over could share their opinions with each other with the filter of an editor deciding rather something was worth sharing with the world or not. Now, in 2010 I am starting to rethink all that.

I'm still for free speech and people being able to post whatever they want. The thing is I'm not sure how useful it is. Looking at the comment sections of places like Yahoo and CNN are pretty depressing for me. It's amazing the amount of animosity you see on these boards. There is a lot of US vs THEM attitudes. Be it, Republicans vs Democrats, Real American vs Terrorists, America vs North Korea. It doesn't really matter. There's just a lot of bile being tossed around by both sides.

Part of the problem is, the Internet allows a person to be anonymous therefore they can say whatever they want without fear of reprisal. Plus on the Internet you don't see the consequences your words have on other people which makes it easier for you to insult somebody. I like to think most people are basically good and they don't want to hurt another persons feelings in person. Yet the internet makes insulting somebody else easy as you can't see the hurt or anger in a persons face after you insult them.

I also like to think we're a lot more a like than we are different. That most people have the same common goals and that a lot more good can be done learning how to work towards common goals than looking for issues that separate us. Yet being anonymous on the Internet makes it easily to be belligerent. You don't see who you are dealing with therefore you tend to forget that you are arguing with another person not just a collection of electrons shown on a screen.

So don't get me wrong, I'm a geek. I like the Internet. I just feel it makes it too easy for us all to act like jerks without having to worry about consequences. Finally after 20 years I'm starting to see the value of both face to face communication and editors. Who would have thunk it.

Somebody about the rank.