When all the good words are taken
I might have titled this post “where did all the good words go?” It seems more and more that we as people have more and more to say about less and less. That just seems so ironic to me.
Here we are living in the age of internet with more types of communication than ever before and what are we doing? Posting cute pictures of cats and counting how many likes we got.
I didn’t think this was a big deal (I post pictures of my dog on Instagram regularly) until I realized that the younger generations literally don’t know that there is anything more to life than this.
We were raised “BI” (before internet) but they weren’t. We know that it doesn’t actually matter how popular our Facebook page is, but they don’t.
We don’t cyber bully each other – we would simply unfriend any maniac who tried to intimidate us and move on. If ten friends ganged up on us started an online “hate campaign” we would delete them all and find new friends. But the youth of today are much more vulnerable than we are; they carry their smartphones everywhere and literally live and die by what others say about them. They don’t know how to unplug.
If you doubt this, ask your grandchild if they know anyone at school who is being bullied online and see what they have to say about it. We all know someone who was bullied at school when we were young but no one was urging them to kill themselves with an endless barrage of words delivered directly to their bedroom at home.
Some would say that it is regrettable that a few young people have been victimized but it not really a big problem – I disagree. I would submit that everyone involved in online bullying is a victim – what are these youngsters going to be like a forty if they are getting away with something that is an actual crime while they are still in high school? If they have so little sense of right and wrong, or that there are consequences for their actions, how will they make good choices in later life?
All of this got me thinking – we don’t let children vote or drink or drive a car until they are mature enough to be held responsible for their actions, why do we let them surf the web unsupervised when they are still too young to drive a car?
Better yet – why do we let them write and publish words and sentiments that we would not allow them to use at the dinner table?
As a blogger, obviously I am in favor of freedom of expression, but I am also an advocate of responsibility. If we don’t take the time to understand what our youngsters are doing and teach them to act responsibly online what does that say about us?