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A Crumbling Internet

If the internet crashes in the woods, does it make a sound?

The internet, as of late, has been bringing me down.  Perhaps it has been a slow build, piling brick upon brick of negativity and political correctness.  Perhaps it has only happened recently and the internet has evolved into this beast of a thing that is exploding into a forum in which everyone is offended by every little thing.  Maybe, just maybe, it has been here the entire time.  An open ended platform in which every person is entitled to their own opinion.

In expressing my opinion here in blog form, I am part of the masses.  I can see that.  In that regard, I use this blog mostly as a platform to promote my writing and to satirize  what is going on this world.  On occasion I'll sprinkle in a post with my opinion or it will naturally seep in within a post.  It is my attempt to voice them in a non-hateful or non-spiteful way.  It's who I am.  People might see it in a different way.  That's fine.  People of the world have different thoughts, views, and ways of life, which is part of the beauty that makes up this world.  It's something I quite enjoy.  I appreciate the many different people and viewpoints I have encountered in my short life.

Today I'd like to discuss three things that have brought me to today's post.  All, in a way, I've discovered while surfing the internet.  While there is so much good out there on the world wide web, part of me can't get past some of the negative and pessimistic attitudes delivered in the form of comments, tweets, and what have you.

I'm going to start with the tweets and photos posted to the Twitter account of Zelda Williams.  As many of you know, her father is Robin Williams and he passed away by committing suicide one week ago.  The internet exploded with tributes, memorials, and links to mental health websites and suicide help hotlines.  This, overwhelmingly, is the good side of the internet society.  Unfortunately, we also witnessed the ugly side of humans.  The internet allows for many to hide behind a keyboard while displaying their vile nature.  Internet trolls, as the collective is called, began bombarding Ms. Williams' Twitter account with nasty tweets, uncalled for remarks, and insensitive photos.  All were done with the disregard of respecting the privacy of a woman  they didn't even know.  In true fashion, Ms. Williams stepped away from Twitter and deleted her account.  In this day and age, it takes a lot to not answer back and get in a comment war with these trolls.  I understand leaving comments on menial celebrity items or political issues, but when it comes to death, even with a person thrust into the national spotlight, one should abide by "say something nice or don't say anything at all."

The next thing I saw was actually a culmination of different posts and articles I've seen the last few weeks.  Before I jump into that, I will mention I agree with certain aspects of these items I've read.  I am simply concentrating today on the areas that have thrown me for a loop.  Apparently, due to these various posts and articles I've seen, there are certain women out there that all men are sex hungry pigs.  Let me clarify a bit.  These women believe that a man's actions or words towards women are only meant to sexually idealize them.  I will agree that there are certain men like that.  It is lumping all men into this culture that irks me a bit.  And on the flip side, not all women feel this way about men.  As far as I know, it could be a small culture from both sides that are displaying these attitudes.  The thing that finally got me was from a post I read on Facebook.  A woman was drinking a soda.  An elderly man walked in and said, "Smile while you drink your pop."  The woman automatically felt degraded and put down as a woman.  She felt that he was simply using this idea of smiling as a stepping stone for some sexual fantasy.  Unless this was said it a creepy manner (which was not clarified in the post), I'm just not sure how a simple remark like this can be taken in a sexual way.  Sometimes a compliment is just a compliment.  Maybe this man just likes to see people smile.  Or maybe he just likes people who enjoy soda pop.  I know we all have a right to smile when we want, but do I have to start to worry about how I approach any female?  Will she take something I say in the complete wrong way and assume I'm a neanderthal that just sees sex?  I certainly hope not.  I certainly don't see myself in that way, but life is about learning and I know I still have a few lessons to learn.

Further down within the thread of the post, it was mentioned that guys have this preconceived notion that when a woman smiles at a man, whether walking down a street or across a bar, it only means one thing: That the woman is into the man and she owes him something.  Maybe I'm of a different sort, but that's not something I think on a normal basis.  As part of a dating cultures, yes, I do believe a smile can go a long way.  Sometimes it leads to meeting someone and having an actual conversation.  Other times, it's a nice polite way to acknowledge another person's existence. A smile can be just a smile.  Or a compliment.

Finally, and briefly, I'll once again return to Twitter.  Justin Timberlake recently tweeted a birthday shout out to Madonna that included the phrase "my ninja".  Now, I believe I'm somewhat up to date on current slang, but I was surprised to hear that ninja is a new term for ni***.  Of course Timberlake received many tweets calling out his insensitivity towards the current happenings in Ferguson (which I understand why).  Timberlake deleted the Tweet, but for arguments sake, let's say him and Madonna actually had nicknames for each other that involved ninjas.  Because of a slang culture, this might have been blown out of proportion.  I don't doubt that Timberlake used this word ninja as the slang meaning.  So many words have different meanings that a few people can take something out of context or meaning and suddenly we have a newsworthy article.

Yes, I have focused on the negativity of the internet.  Like I said, there is a lot of positive out there on the internet.  I see it every day.  The things I've spoken about are just a small sample of what occurs out there.  Yet it grows a bit more every day and this negativity and political correctness is spilling slowly over into many websites.  That is why I intend to focus on the positive of the internet and things I enjoy (and avoid getting on Facebook as often.  Maybe I'll just starting hitting the LIKE button on positive things and somehow the algorithm that determines my feed will bring with it better stories).  I will continue to try to see all the different viewpoints that my friends offer.  These previously noted items are only a couple that are contributing to the negative and on guard feelings of the internet.  In the end, I think it's time for some to take a step back, relax, and enjoy this little thing called life.  I promise I will do the same. 

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