It’s become super cool to hate the internet, have you noticed? To delete social media and completely disconnect from the world of the online media that is the world wide web. And after my little escapade to Innocent Unplugged a few weeks ago, I could see why. We do live in a world driven by ‘Likes’, tagging, hashtags and shoe photos but is the web really that bad?
I’ve had a few occasions where I have deleted my Facebook or taken some time away from the internet (Paul is still very much in this state of mind). This was probably due to a falling out with someone I knew in real life or because I got bored of whatever platform it was I was using. But overall I love the internet.
KEEPING IN TOUCH
It may just be me accepting the inevitable but although I am fully aware we are a lazy generation who cannot be bothered to call or visit people nowadays, I do love how we can connect with family and friends from across the globe via social media.
Thanks to social media I have friends in Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Canada. I am able to contact them on a regular basis and keep our real-life friendship going. I don’t have to rely on flying to these places to be in touch. We can contact one another from whatever time zone we are in, in our own time. It’s wonderful.
Also, thanks to social media I have got in touch with old friends making it easier to ‘re-break’ the ice before meeting up again.
Another fabulous thing about the web is that I can block people I don’t want to hear from. Sounds negative but you can’t do that in real life. People have got so lazy/afraid of real life confrontation. I mean, who’s really going to knock on your door and say, “You’re avoiding me,” or, “I don’t like your point of view.” No one. If I was ignoring comments and messages on social media or said something that would annoy someone then you can bet your bottom dollar there would be an avalanche of hate mail coming through my Facebook inbox. Because that is how society works. Keyboard warriors UNITE!
START SPREADING THE NEWS
A little fact about me… I’ve never bought a newspaper in my life. Yep. I rely solely on Twitter trends now for my news. Why? Because it’s more than likely the truth as opposed to the news.
The fabulous thing about news via social media is that those involved can actually share their side of the story using their voice (or fingers) rather than relying on the media for what may be a biased or twisted point of view on a situation.
Twitter is also real time. No need to depend on the six o’clock news for an update. Twitter will be it as and when. You can read about the people involved from the people involved. No middle man, no propaganda. Although you do have to filter through some trash.
AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
People love books, CDs and encyclopaedias. And it’s all good having a four-hundred books, seventy albums and three world atlas’s but what good is it when you’re on the train from London and you’re trying to work out the capital of Latvia? Or when you’ve got one CD for a four-hour journey home? It’s no good at all, admit it.
Yes, I agree hard copy books are the best. However, I do also love that you can get some amazing books for free on Kindle that you would have to pay £5.99 for in a bookstore.
iPhones have allowed us to have our lives in one small device making our journeys bearable, knowledge wider and communication super quick and easy (remember smelly, pissy pay phones?).
THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER
Without the internet, I wouldn’t be able to buy clothes from across the world, see rare photographs of Marilyn Monroe, find out how long it takes to walk from Birmingham to Nottingham or to get discount codes for Pizza Hut.
The internet allows us to have so much. We can experience so much thanks to the web. And yes, there are some who abuse the system for their sick minds, there are children who are witnessing things that no child should see ever… But those people always existed and it’s up to us to teach future generations about the realism of the world. That sex isn’t what is what is shown in pornography. That people aren’t always being tortured and killed. That there is good in the world and I feel the web shows that too.
Thanks to the internet so many discoveries have been made about crimes, human behaviour, history and science. And it’s up to the person using the internet how they use it. But as I said they will always be that person. With or without the web sick people will always be sick but with the internet it’s easier to catch them.
HOW TO HAVE A GOOD EXPERIENCE ON THE INTERNET
The internet is only a bad place if you allow it to be. Let’s face it, there are a lot of sad people out there who try to make it shit for other people because they are sad cowards. So here’s how you do it:
- Block accounts you don’t want to have contact with.
- Mute people that you want to be connected to but don’t want to see tweeting every five minutes (guilty!).
- Put Safe Search on Google. This doesn’t always work but it helps sort out the nasty images from the good.
- Have secure passwords on your accounts to avoid getting hacked.
- Block junk mail from your email account.
- Only put what information you’re happy to put up. You don’t have to feel obligated to put all your life on Facebook.
- Keep only real friends and family on social media.
- Blacklist certain words on platforms such as Tumblr (use XKit).
- Know that there will be criticism, especially in blogging.
- Don’t get involved in debates you know will frustrate you.
- Download the most useful apps for your everyday life and delete the apps you don’t use.
- Communicate with others to get online connections and build positive relationships.
- Avoid the temptation to illegally download as many programmes will slow down your computer and will make it susceptible to viruses.
- Only use it for certain times of the day. Being on your PC all the time will make you less likely to socialise in real life and experience what’s going on outside of your screen.
- Don’t be afraid of Google! Use it to help you learn new words, find directions or discover new movies, music and shows.
- Avoid weirdos as quickly as possible. You don’t have to be polite when there’s a block button…