Recently I discovered the power of youtube… I also developed an unhealthy obsession with watching particular youtubers as well as their daily blogs… I mean it’s healthy to forget to the laundry for 2 weeks but never once miss a daily vlog right?
Upon my online research… because we know how much I love to Google EVERYTHING! I stumbled upon a website where they had a specific section called ‘Trash a Youtuber’ where anybody can post a ‘thread’ to trash someone on Youtube and others generally agree and put their two cents in. I will admit I was surprised by this, but actually its just part of the cons of the Internet right?
But it did make me sad, it disappointed me how many people could willingly involve themselves in trashing someone they don’t know, some even felt like they did know these people and that they had a right to say the things they did when their opinion was based on something they had read or watched, that makes sense.
Now I’m all up for expressing your opinion and freedom of speech, but I will only accept it as this if it is constructive and said in a way to improve someone, I will not tolerate ignorance as I feel it’s doing us, the human race a great injustice.
I accept we have our own opinions, and we were all raised differently, but at the same time I expect people to grow with society and that certain things should be okay now. I understand that this isn’t the case.
For the most part I try to stay away from online disputes and fear mongering. When I see something I disagree with I keep my mouth and fingers shut and save it for my sister who has been a long sufferer of my ‘I had a dream speeches’ (another talent I have!).
But every once in a while I can’t help but get so angered by something that I type before I think and then my unfiltered thoughts and emotions are unleashed through the internet…isn’t that just the problem nowadays.
One recent experience I had was on Instagram (I know how to live a thug life.) and this person had commented on a picture expressing her distaste for filipino’s and how self centred they were. What was the basis for her tantrum you ask? Well it was because 3 people had mistaken the picture to be of the flag of the Philippines. Because 3 people had assumed such a ‘heinous’ thing it suddenly meant that every Filipino in the world (including the Filipino kid living in Tajikistan who has probably never heard of The Philippines, or even seen the flag, but if you’ve got Filipino in your heritage you’re included in her rant) are selfish, self centred and uneducated. Now you’re probably thinking, but why are you so affected by what some idiot has written? Well it wasn’t just her, but I did choose to focus my anger on her because she was the one who said it out right (again I’m starting to think that’s part of the problem with our society, we focus our rage and anger, and blame on one person or group of people… I’m part of it, I apologies in advance for any future idiocy I exhibit.)
I was angered because of how many people agreed with her. I have questioned myself before, was I personally affected by her comment because I’ve always identified as a proud Filipino despite being half English? Or was my reaction purely because I like to put ignorant people in their place?
Either way, I decided to type what I thought was a simple and sassy response sprinkled with sarcasm and thus ensued the biggest argument I’ve had with anyone in my life. Turns out people don’t like to be told when they’re being ignorant and she hounded me un-relentlessly and my need to be right (which often gets me into trouble) overcame my normally quiet demeanour and I continued to reply to her, explaining to her why the way she worded her statement was offensive, and that while she was open to her opinion, she would probably sleep better at night if she knew that her hate filled statements were based on actual facts rather than bias and misunderstanding, she didn’t like this either. After half an hour of arguing a pointless battle I realised that I was not going anywhere and that the lady was set in her ways, instead of arguing with her I should just leave her to her ignorance and let fate or whatever it is she’s someday going to be faced with get her then. I was just as bad as she was, both trying to convince the other of their opinion and why we were both right, the only difference is, I did eventually realise that some people can’t be steered in your direction, even if you think it’s the right one.
Those two examples are just part of many reasons why I hate the Internet, but unlike my technologically challenged grandparents, I’ve learnt to accept it. But, why? I mean aside from the convenience it provides us, I would not last even a day in my job if I didn’t have Google maps to help me navigate the jungle of London. Yes it makes it easier to connect to family and friends around the world, I look forward to the updates my cousins have for me in the Philippines, and without the Internet, I wouldn’t have this blog to vent frustrations, share stories and use as my personal therapy. But at the same time I feel like on the other side of things, it’s giving people methods of causing damage on vulnerable people, innocent people.
Am I naïve? Am I being overly sensitive? Maybe it’s just something that I still need to get used to… but we shouldn’t have to settle with living in fear of what we share or express and maybe with all the good we should also be prepared for the bad, and learn how to filter the negativity in order to grow as people.
Maybe likeminded individuals like me, who want to live in a technological world without having to deal with negative nellies, should live by example. We should encourage and motivate others to share positivity around the world. Instead of engaging in meaningless arguments over the Internet we should just let the other keyboard warriors take up the challenge and trust that ignorance does not reward people.
The Internet is a far fiercer and merciless environment where people who don’t have a voice and very wrong interests/opinions can hide in amongst us and spread their hatred and evil to unsuspecting victims. But it’s also filled with people who have bright new ideas, who want to share experiences and want to open their world to new things, there’s plenty like that and hopefully in time the numbers will grow, but that can only happen if you live your life with openness, mindfulness and love.
I’m not saying people won’t disagree with you, or will have different ways of living their lives, but hopefully they can understand and be respectful of your differences and embrace it.
We’ve come a long way since the dark ages of no Internet, but with this power, comes great responsibility (Sorry I had to!) and you have two choices, use your power for evil, or for good…which will you choose?
Just FYI I choose the good side, why you ask? Because it’s more fun and I’d rather spend the 22455 hours a day I spend on the Internet, meeting, learning and sharing rather than HATE, EVIL and FEAR.
So do me a favour, next time you see someone post something you don’t entirely agree with or makes you feel angry, instead of taking your keyboard and arguing your case, save it, it won’t change them in the way you think it will, just keep an open mind that someday you may pass someone like them and that is when your words will be most effective, be understanding for the ignorant and educate them in the most effective way. Face to face has more effect than screen to screen because there is no hiding behind the miles of distance, don’t take an argumentative tone and instead be open, you were gifted with the ability to lead and teach so use them for good and help your fellow man with love and understanding. Is that too preachy? Well just see what a difference it makes to your life.
Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud everyday!
Peace and Love