My sibling inspired this particular post. The title is a direct quote from him as he gave me his opinion of bloggers. I laughed at the time because I understood exactly what he was talking about. As I got to thinking about it I began to realize the truth in it. I began to wonder if perhaps he had a deeper point? Are we using social media to associate ourselves with another identity, or use media to shield ourselves from the conflict caused by our own opinions? Or is the use of the media its self making us mean?
There has been much speculation over the past decade or so as to whether or not the use of social media has made the last generation a more cruel one. It isn’t such a wonder as to why. With Youtube videos like Llamas Wearing Hats and Happy Tree Friends, it’s more and more obvious that our media is certainly becoming more violent, and in cases such as Kiki Kannibal cruelty takes on a whole new level of online bullying. Research has been done for the issue of online bullying with little to no conclusive evidence as to its increase or decrease.
I venture an opinion/suggestion.
Personally I do not think that the internet and its use has made any generation meaner. Humanity has always been this mean. It is only because of the introduction of communication technology such as Facebook and television that we’re seeing more and more of it. Communication is faster and can reach a wider audience at the speed of light. In the last decade we’ve been introducing a younger group of people who may not have the maturity to make wise decisions online. Kids who are bullies now have avenues to dissociate themselves from their victims through social media. They don’t understand the real world impact, because they can hide their face behind a mask of binary code. Most of it comes down to immaturity and poor choices.
Might I also go so far as to say that violence in our world probably isn’t increasing either. It’s simply easier to access. Violence has become more and more popular in our media because our world violence is getting viewed more often from news networks. I remember the days when my parents wouldn’t let me watch The Matrix because it was rated R. When I go to see a rated R movie as an adult now, The Matrix looks tame in comparison. Video games are violent for the sake of being “more realistic.” Why not? If they’re seeing it on the news why shouldn’t it be more realistic?
Just moments ago I was talking to a friend about this particular post and the points I was attempting to make. As we talked we began to discuss the maturity level of people coming into contact with technology regularly. We ventured to suggest (by we I mean me) that constant communication also causes social dependencies. Now communicating with friends and loved ones isn’t a bad thing, in fact building relationships is a wonderful part of living and seeking advice is normal. What I suggest is that in being in constant communication with people, we become dependent in an unhealthy manner, which in turn causes us to neglect building self sufficiency. Cases such as this might be so dependent that they cannot make any decisions outside of the advice of their peer groups or romantic relationships. But, I digress.
The point I’m trying to get at for the most part, is that the only difference between this generation and all the generations before, is the amount of access we have to technologies that allow us to view the cruelties of the world. Because of this, values have changed. We’re living in an age where we don’t turn off. We don’t shut down. We only go into temporary sleep modes when it comes to instant communication. Even news networks need to find ways to be more entertaining for the sake of keeping a viewing audience. As I recall the news was never entertaining enough for me to watch it when I was young, now I see kids plopping themselves in front of the TV to watch the news with their parents (not necessarily for the news of course, but for the entertaining segments or shows afterward). We’ve become so engrossed in the ability to communicate, I think we’re paying less attention to what we’re saying, and more attention as to how fast we’re saying it.