Tiptoeing Around the Internet…

Lately, I've found myself tiptoeing around the internet. Afraid to say much on Facebook or Twitter because it seems there is always someone ready to jump down my throat when I do. I also am very aware that I more often than not, recently, read other people's status updates looking for something to be wrong, to be critique-worthy.

I've been thinking about why this is.

Well, the internet is first and foremost a source of information, right?

When Facebook first started up, people used to post status updates like, 'Just had lunch, might go for a walk', for which people were mocked.

So, now people who don't want to be mocked, mostly disseminate information. As the Grumpy Old Man said to me earlier - my feed is like an advertising campaign for how to be a better person! Which is all good and well because goodness knows there is a lot of information out there and we can't all search the whole net on our own.

At the same time, it became a well known thing that a lot of what is posted on the net cannot be trusted. How many times have you seen information pass itself off as fact, and then shortly after someone posts a link showing that information up to be false, a hoax, or just misinformation.

So, we all became wary, and then we became good at spotting the holes in pieces of information which might be a clue that that information is just not right.

I think a lot of people on the net now spend a lot of time looking for information that is subjective, not objective, nor properly researched, not properly argued, too much of a generalisation.

Post-modernism tells us all information is subjective, of course, but theory is moving beyond post-modernism, to post-post-modernism, so I guess we'll soon be able to trust someone.

At the same time, I think there is a lot of preaching happening on the net.

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It's a tidal wave of 'I really think if you had this information you would be a better person than you are right now - you would be the kind of person I could like and respect'.

Everyone has an opinion. There seems to be a race to find the most well respected sources of information to support individual opinions. Of course, the problem is that everyone seems to have a different opinion on most things, so there is also a race on to belittle, or poke holes in, other people's points of view.

And… No one appreciates being preached to. The choir (those who are already converted) will sing the praises of the preacher and the preacher's god. Everyone else will feel judged, if not as evil, then as stupid, and will seek to undermine any argument.

Preaching simply doesn't work.

So, being guilty of preaching, I find myself winding it back a lot and, at the same time, I feel I have to be aware of my self-defensive need to poke holes in beliefs I do not share with others.

It's made me all a bit anxious about the being online, but maybe it's just part of a bigger learning curve.

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