rants

Why I Am Still On The Internet

I haven’t been blogging in a while, and there’s a few good reasons for it.

I don’t have much to blog about. I traditionally blogged about books, and I haven’t been reading much (this is going to change soon). More recently, I’ve been blogging more about my personal life, and that is mostly just school–which isn’t particularly exciting, mostly stressful.

But more recently, I’ve started to lose a little faith in the internet. In a strange turn of events, my activity on Facebook has increased dramatically. Mind you, most of my feed is posts from the pages I follow, which are Hamilton, Nerdfighter, and Vancouver related.

Most of these are pretty good posts that I can scroll through aimlessly, but every once in a while there are posts that make me lose my faith in humanity. They might be confession posts about awful things that people have done, or people enraged about something they saw or was victim to. But either way, they remind me that there is a lot of hate in the world right now. There is a lot of hate and fear and refusing to see from other people’s perspective.

The simple solution is simply to disengage from these media. And I’m making efforts to do that.

But I’m not going to give up on the Internet entirely.

I so often forget that the Internet is a space, that, while not physical, is made up of different regions. That I can choose what media I am exposed to and in what places I find myself in.

And there are media that I really enjoy on the Internet. I like watching TEDTalks and watch vlogbrothers. I like listening to podcasts and communicating with family and friends on other sides of the world through the Internet.

And I can hear the protests about the echo chamber and how the echo chamber of the internet is why the world is so full of anger and othering. But I was recently in a situation where I wouldn’t have known what to say if I wasn’t on the internet.

My friend from the US recently got in a fight with her friend because she is moving to Canada, and her friend who is remaining in the US called her a coward.

I myself have mixed feelings about what should be done and the appropriate circumstances for fleeing, but that’s not what she needed to hear at the moment. So, instead, I took an idea I learned from CGPgrey. This is what I told her:

I think everyone is struggling right now to separate the people they know from the political opinions they have. We forget that we aren’t our opinions, there’s more to a person than that. But right now, with all this political turmoil, it’s hard to look beyond the politics.

For those who are curious, here’s the CGPgrey video I thought of (it’s at 1:10):

While my message to my friend and CGPgrey’s message are different, what I learned about opinions and self and how that lends itself to being an open-minded person really helped me and helped my friend.

And though it is sort of circular, this seems to be the only way to stay on the Internet and keep my sanity: I approach it with the open-mindedness I’ve learned and stay in media that either nurture it or allows for some critical approach rather than shutting down all other opinions and viewpoints.

Also, to cut down my time on the internet to make time for reading. (I need to finish my re-reading of Shades of Magic series before A Conjuring of Light comes out.)

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