I’ve had to take some time to think long and hard about this one. It’s a very distorted topic, which I believe has really only been addressed from a lopsided viewpoint thus far; Social Media: the dragon that’s burning down our families!
So let me start by saying, that’s just not true! Now I know I’m probably not going to be liked by a lot of people for this- mainly because I’m going to be leaning far left on the matter. I wouldn’t say that I am in total opposition of the thought, but I believe that somebody needs to introduce it’s counterbalance before we can really start to chew on what the middle ground here is/should be.
I’ve seen, and heard, and even- at points in my life- been in agreement with people who swear up and down that social media, the internet, or just technology in general are the primary factor in the debasement and degradation of modern society. So for a moment, I’d like to take a look at some of the evidence that has pointed them towards this conclusion, and then start to peel back the layers and see if this onion really is rotten. I love a good analogy :).
So let’s start at the ‘root’ (pun intended). At least I think it’s the root. As we delve further it could be revealed that what appears to be the root is simply just some bad ‘fruit’ 😂 that has resulted from deeper issues.
People like to point out that internet has been a major contributor to introverted, antisocial behavior. While I do not see it as a total falsity, I would argue that every contributor to this behavior/personality type is a major player. Introverts tend to be very passionate people; artists, hobbiests, spiritualists, deep thinkers (often writers or avid readers)… whatever their passion, they embrace it fully, allowing it to fall over them like a wave and envelop them. Because they find comfort in being alone, they are willing and able to become lost in whatever it is they love. Good? Bad? You decide…
Here’s a big one, and hard as hell to argue with if you are a reasonable person who understands the mental and spiritual damage that pornography is capable of: “Internet porn destroyed my marriage”, “Internet porn is a major contributor to the continued financial success of the illegal sex trade”, “Internet porn is directly responsible for my sons/daughters/husbands/wives (on and on and on) depression/uncontrollable lust issues.”
So who among you agrees I’ve just jumped into the vipers den?! Well you’re right, but I have done so very directly and purposefully, because it’s time to call a spade a spade. Do I agree that porn is one of- if not number 1- the contributors to men and boys (yes ladies: for the most part I am leaving you out of this one) debased nature/behavior? Of course! In fact I know from personal experience. So why bring it up? Because I have two solid arguments.
First of all there is the obvious primary debate here; WHAT WE DO IS ON US! Translation: own who you are. Maybe not at very young ages, but in this day and age it certainly is not that old that we begin to come into our own, and learn about the consequences of our actions. We’re good at pretending that other things were to blame; that we didn’t have any control; that we were innocent and violated, but at the end of the day we know that guilt rests on our shoulders because we could have taken steps to avoid such interactions. You can argue this until your blue in the face, but coming from a man who has spent entire nights staring into the deadly void, I KNOW there are ways out. Not easy I’ll grant you, but that’s what separates the men from the boys. Over the years- and even as we speak- I have taken actions to assure that I can be an overcomer in this struggle. So can you! If you’re wondering how, look me up on FB (John McQuillan, Sundre, Alberta, Canada) and I’ll do my best to help you out. We men need to stick together on this, and the first step is manning up and owning it.
Second point: while the Internet has brought on a massive insurgence of pornography, it can also be accredited for a massive insurgency of art, some of which has even lead to us learning to appreciate the beauty of the human form, regardless of shape, size, color, etc. We have learned to find beauty; to seek it out and not just accept the painted up shallow imitations of it. Modern technology has even taught us to see through many of these facades. We are moving forward at a rapid pace as far as seeing the beauty of an imperfect world and embracing it with open arms. Now if we can attribute blame to the Internet and technology for our fixation on the ugly, then rightly, we must be honest enough to acknowledge it’s contribution to our eyes being opened to true beauty (Don’t ask for my help on this one; I’ve just recently become aware enough to stop accusing the world of being ugly 😰).
As I type this, a third point has occurred to me: Pornography has been around- and been an issue- since before my time, which was before the age of computers, nevermind Internet! Some say that prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. I’d go as far as to say that not only does sex sell, but because of the extended weight and history of its stocks, it’s now buying up property, and while the web is no stranger to its neighborhood, the fact is simply that the net is no more guilty of giving ground to the sex trade than every man and woman who openly agrees that our individual sexuality is not something that should remain personal, private, mutual, and dignified. Right? Wrong? You decide…
Ok, and now to the pressing matter; the burning topic that has probably already caused many of the naysayers to leave this site, or scroll down and post a comment, before they even got this far.
“Internet has made people disconnected from society. Nobody socializes anymore. We’re all disconnected.” Ok, granted, this relates to the first issue, but I believe as I express my point here you’ll see how it also more directly relates to the real root issue.
We are all- Introverts and extraverts alike (despite popular opinion)- born with a natural and unignorable need to connect. Many are able to stave off the urge, but none are devoid of it. The question is simply how do we connect? The answer: however we can, and no connection to society is less tangible, valid, or capable of emotion than the other; neither are one or the other more.
I love my family, and friends. I like to go camping with them, party with them, or just hang out with them doing nothing. Often times we don’t even talk. Just being among them is a way for me to connect.
Equally so, I love the friends I have online. Some are like family. Some are valued friends. Some I have never had a conversation with; I’ve simply liked/followed/friended or vice-versa. None of these connections were devoid of meaning. None of their likes have gone unnoticed. They have become a valuable part of my memories and my physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Many have touched me in a very deep and empowering way through videos, comments, and the like, and I always hope that my contributions are able to do the same for them.
It is through this amazing, ever-expanding and evolving technology, that we are able to reach people across the world, make valuable contributions, learn more than we once thought possible,… the list of positives goes on and on here! If you were to ask my family they’d probably tell you that the one thing I might give up my technological toys for is a chance to live deep in the woods, mountains, desert, jungle, artic, or even at sea, cut off from all civilization (believe it or not I am a major introvert), and yet I believe very strongly that we are on the cusp of a much greater age of human evolution and it is by large due to this pup of technology we call the Internet highway. Just look at how far it has taken us in a few decades, and you might be able to envision/glimpse how much further we will go with it in one hundred years! True? False? You decide…
Now let’s not take any credit away from the human spirit…
The fact is we are all three-fold beings: emotional, mental, and physical. These three forces are always at war within us. On the rare occasion that they do operate together functionally, we find ourselves growing at what seems like an unnatural rate. Passionate people however, tend to be better at embracing this growth, and – like aforementioned – become lost in it. In combination with the internet similarities, they feel swept up in the need to see this growth to its completion, which would take an eternity. These people are fun to connect with, as well as intriguing, because they want to share all of what makes them a passionate person.
Brakes on, red light; danger zone: how and when do we as passionate people shut down? That’s the real difficulty, and believe me when I tell you it’s no easy task. I am in fact coming off a two week drive on the Internet highway. I’ve spent the entire weekend trying desperately to disconnect, and this exhausting long blog is me slamming on the E-brake! I have loved the ride, but here’s the catch: I found myself joining groups like crazy and liking pages insanely. Then I discovered my error. People are opinionated, and unfortunately not all of them have my opinion. I don’t understand why not, but it’s a reality I’ve had to come to grips with.
In the midst of my feverish addiction, I was awakened to a growing strain in the back of my neck. I was also getting quite angry with many of the comments being made in some topics. Why were these people so far left or right; so beligerent or ignorant; so smug and obnoxious? I know how to combat it I thought. Insert cynical comment here. Add unnecessary slangs/swears there. Make that guy feel stupid. Troll this girl until she freaks out….
But now where’s the passion? And why do I feel unjustified? Who am I? Finally, the guilt sets in, or the depression, or disgust, and at last I truly am lost, and I’ve made a handful of new enemies, plus many of my new friends have been turned off by my behavior. So desperately I try to rebuild. I leave groups, unfollow pages, delete or unlike posts-… but this isn’t the bad part. No this is one of the beauties of the net; like a doting mother, or a stern-handed father, she/he/it will give you every opportunity to grow and learn from your mistakes. So here I am- again- waiting for the site to load ;). Still, it is essential to our health- physically, mentally, and spiritually- that we unplug from time to time (daily at least) and allow our physical world to interact as with us as well.
Ok, I’m not even gonna sum that one up. I think you get where I’m going with it. If not, give it time 🙂
There’s a lot here to chew I think, as a contributor to the net, you get to be a part of that. You get to decide: grow this beautiful new life form, or allow it to continue on as a contributor to world degredation? Either way, it will live on. Sorry to break your little fallout hearts, but the world’s not gonna end anytime soon, and neither is mans firstbimmortal child 😮
Final tip: check your form before you wreck your form 😉