Humanity [or the lack of] and; the Internet

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen some of the horror of the internet and I’m disgusted by what I have seen and read. The internet is seen to be one of the greatest inventions of recent times but moments like these I question its importance and viability in the world.

I’ve always known that however much good there is out on the internet it has also been a place where cowards and idiots exist and thrive through anonymous commenting, hiding behind a computer screen in the comfort of their own home. Recently after certain events I’ve seen some of what the internet can kick up and stick in front of you. At what point did humanity get like this? Has it always been like this but not as well-known because there was no internet or is it a more recent thing?

Two very recent examples of this behaviour would be the death of the UK’s first female Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the Boston bombings. Among the nice comments of a wonderful political career she had and messages of support for the families and people caught up in the Boston attacks were some horrible comments. People laughing at the fact a woman had died giving no thought to the family and friends she left behind, people making jokes about the absolute tragedy that had just occurred and making assumptions as to who was behind the attacks.

Though Thatcher’s political career was littered with controversy the reaction and comments to her death from some were surely a step too far. I can’t comment on her political career, being born in ’91 the only things I know are from what I have read or have been told and being brought up in the North you can imagine not everything I have heard has been favourable towards her.

People making assumptions of who brought about these attacks before all the details were known and accusing individuals was dangerous, creating some sort of mob/witchhunt mentality. Though this behaviour was by news outlets too, surely they are meant to know better than to create fear and anger for media gain.

Celebrating the death of a woman who has done nothing more than carve out a successful career for herself in her life is horrific. Making jokes about people who have just died and accusing innocent people of something they haven’t done is sick and dangerous. Where has some people’s moral compass and common decency gone? I’m all for freedom of speech being a writer but sometimes I feel people go way too far, not thinking of others and just trying to get a reaction from people. Like Samantha Brick and her quite frankly ludicrous and idiotic articles for the Daily Mail. I’m not a massive fan of The Daily Mail anyway but most of their female columnists constantly drive me up the wall with their articles. However, Brick’s latest article about her constant diet clearly promoted anorexia. Surely her writing is either a massive PR stunt or made just to cause reaction from people, either way it’s succeeding.

Though it seems like many people’s humanity and morality has disappeared when it comes to the internet making me question its place in our society I then remember the good things. The people who pull together to help someone they may never have even met before, how we can all get behind campaigns getting topics trending and donating money online, how a chance encounter online could change your life for the better. Though there are a lot of bad things out there in the world, the internet has just become a tool to highlight it but it also highlights all the good that is out there too, bringing it to our attention and making more of us involved in something truly important. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but pure hate and disgusting/sickening comments on people, death and tragedy, whether written for attention or not, should really be kept to ourselves, taking the age of old advice of keeping our mouths shut if we have nothing nice to say and that means online too.

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