People seem to think that the internet is a parallel universe. Yes, I’ll admit that the internet is pretty magical. But it is in no way a solution to all of life’s problems. It would be idiotic to expect the internet to give me everything I want in life. Though I’d love it if the internet could clean my room and cook dinner for me, I would be insane if I truly expected it to do so. Similarly, it would be ludicrous to think that the internet is going to eliminate all of the so-called problems that afflict modern society, like sexism.
Laurie Penny’s article “Cybersexism” got me thinking about this extremely high standard that we hold the internet to. In many ways, the internet is a great tool for self-expression and communication. But in giving people a platform to share their thoughts, it makes it even easier for dissenters to lash out against them, often in the form of nasty, inappropriate comments. Gender, race, class, etc. cannot just mysteriously disappear, as many hoped would be the case.
Now I certainly don’t think it’s right for people to make obscene comments, but I am in no way surprised that people do so. When people have a voice, they have a choice to use it in a positive or negative way. The internet, unfortunately, cannot be a “danger-free” zone.
On another note, we seem have an unreasonable reliance on social media to better our personal lives as well, particularly our relationships. To many, meeting people and building relationships in person is an outdated concept when apps like Tinder make dating (or hooking up) so much easier. While I understand why people use sites like Match.com to help meet people, I honestly don’t get Tinder, which in my opinion is amusing but unnecessary.
Emily Witt explores this new world of online dating through social media services like Tinder in “Love Me Tinder.” People seem to need the internet/social media to make them feel loved or to boost their confidence, which is completely pathetic. Though my thoughts may seem outdated for an eighteen-year-old, I feel that counting on the internet for everything will do more harm than good. It is one thing to use the internet as a fix for boredom or a tool for knowledge, but depending on it to fill our calendars with casual hookups with strangers is sad. Maybe people would have better luck connecting with others if they weren’t so busy swiping left and right all day.