Avoid the invisibility of the Internet

Editorial

For some, the ease of using the Internet has now made it almost second nature to share anything that happened throughout the day online.

Social media is engraved in our lives, and many of us use the Internet constantly throughout the day.

According to www.econsultancy.com, an average of seven billion pieces of content is shared on Facebook each week and nearly four million tweets are posted per hour.

Humans love to share the things they care about and to leave comments on any page that catches their eye when they surf the web.

Although sharing and connecting online can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing as well.

According to a news release from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, two teenage girls, ages 15 and 16, were arrested on charges for threatening the life of a recent Steubenville rape victim.

The threats were sent through Twitter, the place where many of us hashtag about inspirational quotes.

Paraskevi Papachristou is another example of someone getting reprimanded for actions on social media.

The Greek Olympic athlete was banned from the 2012 London Olympics because of a post that many found racist on Twitter.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of Disney’s Iago from “Aladdin” and the Aflac duck, lost his job with Aflac when he posted a joke about Japan’s 2011 tsunami on Twitter.

The list goes on, because people find it easy to say things online that they may not have ever dreamed of saying in real life.

According to www.users.rider.edu, a few of the reasons people say offensive things online are: anonymity, invisibility and the perception that the interaction is happening in the person’s own head.

People feel invisible when they are behind a computer screen. It’s easy to get into an argument without actual confrontation on the comment page of a blog because neither person feels like there will be any repercussions. This perceived mask causes a person to feel comfortable acting out, which causes people to threaten others and joke about things that should be treated more respectfully.

When face to face with a person, people usually keep a filter on their mouths that doesn’t let out every single thing going through the person’s head. On the Internet, that filter is somehow turned off, causing people to write things they would never say to another person’s face.

Although the Internet can be a good thing that helps us connect with others, learn things, and share things that are important to us, let’s make sure we don’t get carried away in our arguments.

Let’s keep our computer screens from becoming a mask of ones and zeros that hide our identities.

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