Knowing Too Much is Not Enough
Before the Internet I can remember the idea that an opinion meant you got a chance to have a healthy arguement between friends, in a bar, at a restaurant, sitting on the lawn on a Sunday afternoon. Before the Internet is seemed so much easier to know the difference between printed words that were satire, or questionable (National Equirer et. al.) or just pain slanted one way or the other. People would discuss things in context and no one would be able to point out snipets of sentences later in a public way, because things were “of the moment”. Not talking about stars or politicians, just plain people making statements about things. Before the Internet if someone made a mistake and said or did something that later they’d regret, it wasn’t permanently recorded at some URL for others to scrutinize tens of thousands of times. You could have a grace-period to make amends, have 2nd thoughts that would be able to be shared in kind.
After the Internet, everyone’s opinion is shared potentially millions of times- world wide perhaps (www). Repeating opinion over and over lets it become fact, that then passionate people who want to agree can share with those who aren’t sure- and say “it’s a fact”. Ignorance can turn to prejudice which can turn to fear, which can be acted upon on the Internet (for all to see and read). Oh there are millions of reasons that the Internet is a good thing, finding firends, making new ones, understanding the world around us better than we ever could imagine… and its all there – sitting in a pocket smart phone, at the end of a search button. But just as good, it used in so many ways to spread half truths, human fraility that cannot be erased once it is shared. Such a powerful thing cannot be stopped, but those who innocently use it to share things without any regard for scrutiny seem to be throwing stones at their glass houses- as they would not and could not bear the same scrutiny in return. Sad.
And here I am on the Internet. Ironic. Its a fact!