I’m really starting to despise the internet. From complete refusal to see any other sides to misguided attempts to “educate” friends on topics they
could not possibly know about (newsflash: They probably do. You look like a dick.), Facebook and comment blogs have become almost impossible for me to watch. It used to be funny to scroll through and watch people be jerks to people they don’t know, just becomes someone thinking Hostess is better than Little Debbie. Unfortunately, those attitudes have been leaking in to everyday life and have reached full penetration- single-mindedness is commonplace in everything from face to face conversations to the 24 hour news cycle. And just to be clear, that is not a shot at Fox News. Every news channel is biased. Yes that means yours. If the best arrow in your quiver is a shot at Fox News, go watch MSNBC. Or CNN. Or any other news channel. Inform yourself on the fact that journalism has become op-ed. And come up with something better than a shot at Fox News. Chances are your own bias is just as bad.
Here’s the deal. You are NEVER going to convince someone of your own opinion over the internet. Let me repeat that. NEVER. It isn’t going to happen. And being a jackass isn’t going to help. You want to argue about cultural appropriation? Fine. Instead of starting by changing your friends, start with yourself. Stop “celebrating” Guy Fawkes Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and while you’re at it, move Christmas back to June. And if any of that seems ridiculous to you, think about why. Do some inner exploration. Chances are it will be way more educational. Misappropriation is a serious issue for many cultures and your Facebook crusade is not helping.
We are so much more alike than we are different. We’re generally good people, just trying to make it in this crazy world. Why can’t we spend more time trying to accomplish meaningful change together, rather than on how we’re different? Personally, I don’t care what your political, religious, sport team preferences are. I really don’t. What I care about is how you present them. How you interact with everyone else in this world. Everyone is doing their best. Everyone has their own set of experiences that has made them who they are. We could do a lot better to respect that.
The internet isn’t all bad. Just like everything else, there are two sides to this story. Sometimes you have to dig through piles of crap to find the gold, but it’s there. Right now two of my favourite bright lights in the darkness are Stephen Amell and Mike Rowe. Both are exceedingly kind, down to earth people, who truly want to make a difference in this world. Using his popularity as Oliver Queen on Arrow for good, Mr. Amell genuinely appreciative of his fans and uses his Facebook page to raise money and awareness for those who need it. Currently he’s raising money for a little boy with leukemia named JoJo and his family. Check out his Facebook (linked above) to donate. And check out JoJo’s page here.
Mr. Rowe, bets known for his show Dirty Jobs, is another genuinely positive internet presence. Beyond his genuine appreciation of his fans, his nonprofit, mikeroweWORKS, is working hard to get Americans back in the skilled trades. mrW provides scholarships and funding for students to attend trade schools and build a future on rewarding and well-paying work. Seriously, check it out. They’re doing great things. (Side note: Mr. Rowe, on the off-chance you see this, I have a masters in nonprofit management and would love to help out. Seriously.)
Instead of sewing more negativity, let’s follow their examples. Get out there and do something good. Challenge yourself and your beliefs. Be the good in the world. It’s the only way anything is going to get better.