At this moment, I am watching a few educational videos online. Earlier, I read a few newspaper articles about human rights issues, cultural traditions, and racism. I like to skim through different mediums of information, and I actually prefer articles that are clearly biased. When authors claim to be stating objective facts, I roll my eyes and bite my lip. I like people who are savvy enough to admit their own faults and who recognize the lens through which they are looking at a particular circumstance. I enjoy reading information written by those who are clearly well-researched, clear, and who believe in something and stick to it throughout.
That being said, I am concerned. No, not about sensationalist journalism or about one-sided publications. I am concerned about the general population. Reading the comments beneath news articles, videos, and essays – I am deeply disappointed in what people say, how they say it, and how little they know about the world they inhabit. There is so much hate – for both the innocent and the guilty. There is so little empathy – for humans who, by no fault or little fault of their own, are struggling. At first, I read these comments and start vigorously typing responses. But I soon realize that I cannot possible reply to the hundreds of hurtful, mean, ignorant remarks. Moreover, I cannot change the thoughts of these people. My anger subsides, and I close my laptop and take a few deep breathes.
People feel safe online – they can bully, say unacceptable things, and they can choose to not reply to reasonable refutations to their statements. Although people have the ability to research whatever they please, they tend to do so mindlessly and without any sort of critical reflection on their sources. Furthermore, instead of attacking ideas, they attack the people who hold the ideas – which is completely useless for the purposes of intelligent discussion.
So I am concerned – about the opinions of certain members of the internet community, the lack of logic applied to arguments, the atrocious use of grammar.
“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.” – Gian Carlo Menotti