I read one of those typically funny posts on the internet today… you know, one of those funny lists of a whole bunch of strangers saying really stupid things (the link is below to the particular one I read, if you are interested, do it, it is quite entertaining) and I thought to myself, well, I guess it’s not that bad, it’s not like I actually know those people…
But it did get me thinking… recently, while doing research on racism for my postgraduate diploma (see link below, but warning, it is an academic essay and it is quite dry) I did a content analysis of internet commentary. It really burst a bubble for me. Prior to this research, I wanted (really truly wanted) to believe that the anonymity of the internet meant that the great minds could speak together without the fear of bias or prejudice. A black man could speak to a racist, a LGBTi individual could speak to a homophobe…and it wouldn’t matter.
What has happened instead?
The anonymity of the internet has instead spawned vile hatred for fellow man. When you remove the social barriers of “what would XXX think if I said YYY”, instead of rising to a higher intellectual connection, people instead choose to sink to their basest instincts.
While some of them are “trolling”, (bored individuals stirring to get a reaction) some people truly are that vile.
As a parent, all I wonder is, what are they like when they aren’t behind a computer screen?