Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The Internet Shadows
You will find no bigger fan of blogs than VUI. Blogs are a great venue for people to express themselves and their opinions on various matters. Blogs like VUI are out there for the world to see. If VUI critizes you, you can find it and comment.
The same is true of many other blogs.
Such is increasingly not true of twitter, facebook and other social networking sites. It seems lately that those worst of human traits, such as acting in anger, acting with malice and just plain nuttiness are taking advantage of the tools such networking sites provide them.
Take for an example the recent article in the State about the USC women's basketball coach criticizing a local eating esablishment harshly via twitter. No one knows how the coach was treated or how the perception of mistreatment could have been formed. Unless the eating esablishment follows twitter, they might not even have an idea that something was wrong.
BUt, let's assume that the coach was sincere in her anger and justified and leave it at that. Others who use networking sites to attack other people are not. Facebook for example, allows people to block other people from viewing their comments and page. That seems like a good idea, until someone comes along, with a beef, real or imagined, and trashes the person they have a beef with. They can cowardly hide behind the blocking tool as they say what they will about the person that they wish to defame. The victim of such dafamation is usually unaware of what is being said about them to hundreds and perhaps even thousands of people, as the poster lurks in the shadows of the internet.
While it is true that ever since man has been able to communicate there have been those who like to gossip, make up things, and just plain be nuts, today's technology amplifies the harm that such people can do to people's lives and businesses. While there is no government role to be played in such matters or contended for, other than the lawsuits for dafamation that already exist, there is a moral issue. Are we, as a people,mature enough, to be able to instantly communicate with one another on such a wide scale?
Think on it. Not only do we have the lives harmed at times by destructive people on the social networking sites, but we have human hubris showing as everyone seems compelled to list the details of their daily lives for the world to read, as if the world cares. Further, even our own Governor seemed to jeopardize his family and career over emails that developed into more. I recently learned of a marriage in trouble over sex chat.
When I discussed this with a friend recently, he pointed out it took a bit of arrogance to some to do the VUI blog. Perhaps. The difference is the opinions offered here are the same opinions one would get if they asked me face to face. Further, I will admit that there are a couple of posts I wish I hadn't posted. I am human and have a temper as well. But, the posts are there to be seen and addressed by those mentioned in them. The goal of VUI will always be to be make people think and sometimes laugh about the people and entities with power over other peoples lives. If that gets done, the hits are worth it. I never take the people in the shadows seriously. But, as I learn of real people whose lives have been increasingly harmed by those in the internet shadows, I offer that perhaps it is time those who live in the sunlight of the internet try to shine some light on those in the shadows and call them for the cowards and pathetic human beings that they are.