Articles covering the immature world of online gaming community have been doing the rounds again. Because I do stand for something, and I will not fall for just anything, I am once again going to add my two cents to the conversation, thereby halving my twitter followers and losing a good percentage of readers ;)
My first lament is about the very thing I love about the internet, it is almost entirely without borders, constraints or accountability. To express one’s opinion is but a few keystrokes away, be it constructive or destructive input. As in the case of the “down(vote) syndrome”, you can even make your distaste known anonymously. The carte blanche platform that was created by the Web gives us access to valuable data and its positive applications are staggering.
It also has a dark underbelly that every user has dealt with in some way or another. My article on Bravado Gaming, “The truth about the 3rd degree MSSA received”, is about such a case. It shows how the voices who sometimes scream the loudest are the ones that carry the most weight. It doesn’t even matter if what they are spewing out is factual, or defamation of someone’s character, as long as they rage hard enough they will rally the rest of the gamers support. We are turning into a culture that rewards bad behaviour and punishes the voices of dissent.
"It's sad to me to think that we're the entertainment industry, and we're the most technologically advanced of all the entertainment industries, and yet we seem to be lacking in a social progressivism that matches our technological progressivism." Matt Boch Dance Central project director.
Why should we tolerate online behaviour that we would never, ever tolerate in real life? Does “online” somehow give people a free ticket to behave amoral? Have you crossed the invisible lines in your own heart? Have you gradually pushed the boundaries of what are acceptable in terms of conduct, communication and interaction further and further? I know I have. It’s a frightening thing to live in a borderless, unaccountable world. We tend to set the demons lose.
Online security software maker McAfee did a survey on 2,017 teenagers and parents of teenagers to test the transparency of online behaviour and usage. The group found that 70% of teens "hide their online behavior" from parents, with a 45% increase from 2010.
Then there’s this interesting article I stumbled upon...
“Bad Online Behavior Jeopardizes Students' College Plans.” Companies are starting to wake up to the fact that the internet is the best mirror to reflect the darkness of the soul. According to this article the number of college-admissions officials using Facebook and other social-networking sites to learn more about applicants quadrupled over the past year. The officials are potentially denying some of the applications because of what they’ve found online. What if it becomes policy for business owners and corporate companies to do an investigation into prospective employee’s online track record? Will they find that your online profile is a true reflection of your real self? It’s a scary thought and I’m betting that if this is not already happening, that it will in the near future.
You are leaving a digital footprint, be careful how you tread.
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