Maybe it is just me, BUT…
There seems a certain sense of anonymity that people feel when posting on Facebook or similar sites. Some postings are downright vulgar while others are meant to be cute but fail miserably. The opportunity afforded us with access to the Internet in such manners as this blog or simple postings on Facebook seems to be more than some can handle in terms of their language and the pictures that sometimes accompany the verbal rants.
We either forget or simply refuse to be concerned with the fact that our postings go quickly to all corners of the Internet world. We now enjoy ‘friends’ in distant foreign countries where social mores may differ from our own. Some ‘friends’ are not quite so innocent as they might wish to be seen.
Verbal one-on-one or small group conversations are one thing but the written postings (and uploaded pix) impact a lot of people…some who seek that kind of garbage and some who simply stumble upon it in their endless tours of Facebook, etc. Adults take the risk they might be offended but in most instances, an offense of that nature is shrugged off. We see it, we think our thoughts about the ignorance behind it, and we move on. But, there are no age limits on the Internet unless imposed by parents or guardians…and parents or guardians cannot possibly hover over every youngster’s shoulder as they tour the World Wide Web.
Many adults would be hard-pressed to find the trail of site visits of a young ward if they were tasked to do so. Many, likely most, young people are far more adept at the ins and outs of the Internet than any of us ancients could imagine. Have you ever watched a young person using the Internet? Their fingers fly and the image on the screen changes so rapidly that it is almost impossible for anyone but the ‘operator’ to follow.
The seemingly endless perfection of smaller and smaller devices with more and more capacity and capability means this will do nothing but continue. It is unusual to find a young person who is not carrying a device that assures them complete access to the Internet.
There is little we can do to favorably affect this except to try to acquaint our younger family members and acquaintances with the good, the bad and the ugly of the Internet. The other thing within our personal control, of course, is the way in which we, as individual users, make use of the Internet. Frankly, I suspect some of us are more juvenile in our actions than are the juveniles.
Each advancement in technology brings with it good and not-so-good ramifications. The manner in which we employ the technology determines whether or not it is a good thing to have available. As adults, we have the ability to be more reflective about the potential good, bad and ugly. We’ve made our mistakes and lived to tell about them…but our world was a much smaller and more innocent world than that of today.
Today the worry is not about the beat-up old Playboy magazines and the risque photos they contained. We are several levels of concern beyond the Playboy worries, each of which was basically an exponential increase over the last. I am reminded of Adam and Eve in the garden and the tree with the forbidden fruit. Even then at the ‘beginning’, ‘temptation’ was one of our greatest threats. Today’s temptations are far more plentiful and likely just as dangerous to humankind if we really gave this earnest thought.
There is, unfortunately, plenty of ‘evil’ to go around, and us adults need to be aware of the threats and of our responsibilities to our progeny.