Internet, We Need to Talk

The internet is a wonderful thing. I love it. It connects continents and generations. You can get any info you want at any time. You can watch movies and TV shows whenever you want. You can have video convos with someone from anywhere in the world. You have access to all the adorableness you could ever need. It is one of man’s greatest inventions.

But it’s depressing. Seriously, the level of negativity on the internet is really starting to get under my skin. I’m all for free speech and expressing an opinion. The last thing I want is some sort of censorship. That’s not what I’m talking about. What bothers me is the senselessness of so much of what people post. It’s completely unnecessary to post a vicious comment about something you have absolutely no interest in and yet millions of people do it every single day.

And it’s not just random comments, either, it’s entire articles. One of my favorite bands showed up in an article titled something like “Bands That Will Never Make a Comeback.” I could go on a rant defending my fav band and point out that they have a very strong fan base and have been consistently releasing new music since their heyday but that’s not the point. The point is that someone wrote that article with the express purpose of bashing bands that have moved out of the limelight. What were they hoping to accomplish by writing this piece? Were they hoping members of those bands would read it and go cry over their lost careers? Or did they want people who actually like these bands to feel uncool and question their love for that music? Either way, that’s really shitty, man.

The anonymity that the internet provides has created a monster. Originally, it gave people a voice who wouldn’t normally speak up because they were too afraid of being rejected. Now it gives bullies an all access pass to reject and hurt without consequences. I don’t have to go to school or work to bully people. I just have to get on the internet and talk shit about things people like. Instant gratification for my insatiable sadistic streak. The internet’s love affair with unnecessary negativity has gotten way out of control and it’s a sad commentary on our society.

I’ve always noticed this and thought it was a problem but now that I’m experiencing so much of God’s love and learning to share it, the bile of the internet is becoming intolerable. I spend way less time surfing the net than I used to, partly because I just don’t care as much about it and partly because I’m sick of seeing how horrible people can be to each other. There’s only so much of that a person can take.

So, Internet, here’s my advice: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

“What you say flows from what is in your heart.” Luke 6:45 (NLT)

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