"Because Life is Beautiful"

Has The Internet Ruined Society?

Lately there has been a story going around about how Facebook steals your photos. It was started on a very popular page where emails from a Facebook employee talking about Facebook’s copyright TOS were shared. This employee had no clue what they were talking about and that was obvious as they shared lines from the TOS that contradicted what they were saying.  Regardless, tons of people freaked out commenting and sharing the story. It quickly went viral and lots of articles about it were quickly seen around the internet. Less than 24 hours later, a Facebook employee commented on the page regarding the emails and that the employee was indeed wrong and insuring everyone with the truth.  This is just one example of why not to quickly believe everything you read on the internet (especially Facebook and other social media outlets) and how quickly something can spread online.

The sad thing is, many won’t bother to read the comments and will still be freaking out and sharing this and spreading the false information, even months and probably years down the road, without bothering to research it and find out the truth

Just like the story that went around recently about the dad taking the photo in front of the Darth Vader sign and the mom who spread the rumor on social media he was stalking her kids. People are so quick to share things on social media without thinking of the consequences.

Another example was a news story I read just this morning about a woman posting her husband up for sale on one of the yard sale groups on Facebook. Within seconds, people were posting how stupid it was and putting her down and saying how selfish she was, attacking her, yelling how “this isn’t news” when they didn’t bother to read the article, only a headline. If they had bothered to click the article and read, they would have seen it was a joke between her and her husband and that she had been raising money to help a friend’s kid with ALS by selling things on this yard sale site. The ad about her husband and the article brought awareness to this but no one wanted to take the time to actually read the story. They formed opinions just from a one sentence headline and proceeded to take longer to make an uninformed comment than they would have taken just to read.

People run to social media when they think they've been wronged and start boycotts etc. and no one bothers to find out the real truth, they just follow along like sheep. People don’t bother to actually learn information and knowledge. The answer to anything is “Oh just Google it”

We see stories shared about kids who are kidnapped and people sharing them to help find it, only to see that a quick Google Search or many times just a click on the photo or article itself reveals that the photo/article was from many years before and that the child was found years ago. But again no one bothered to click to read or research on their own.

We hear sad stories about teens committing suicide because they were bulled, most of it coming from cyber bullying. Instagram pages are appearing in small communities, made only to degrade the teen girls in a local school. Facebook pages made for the sole purpose of attacking groups of people or a specific person. I see adults commenting on posts cursing and name calling and telling other adults to “kill themselves” and all forms of bullying. And we wonder where the kids get it? Adults are a hundred times worse. People sit at their computer and hide behind their keyboard feeling like they can say anything because it’s not personal. Stuff they would never dream of saying to a person to their face, but somehow typing it makes it easier and ok.

I really think that in a way, the Internet has ruined society. No one thinks for themselves anymore. We just believe what we want and it’s true because we saw it on the internet so it has to be true, right?

I’m sure you remember the last time you sent a message or a Snapchat or a text but when was the last time you visited a friend, had a lunch date, called someone just to check on them and say hi.  When was the last time you sent an email? Probably easy to remember. Now when was the last time you sat down and wrote a letter? Not so easy huh?

When was the last time you took a selfie? Probably fairly recent. Now when was the last time you hired a photographer to do your family portraits? Silence…..

You probably have tons of albums and photos on your Facebook. How many albums and scrapbooks on your bookshelf?  Lots of photos you share on your Facebook wall, how many have you printed to hang on your living room wall?

Do you have more books on your Kindle than your shelf?

Do you walk around more in a virtual world, a cartoon farm or game, than you walk in your local park or sidewalks?

If the internet and your phone were to crash completely tomorrow, how much would you lose? Would you lose all your phone numbers, all your addresses? Would you lose all your photos and memories? Would you lose all your “friends” because they weren’t really friends, just a number on your Facebook account?

I think we would actually be better off. Yes I am one of the first to say I’ve met wonderful people online, I even met my husband on Facebook for which I am eternally grateful for. It has let people connect and gets information to people who may not have had access to it before. The internet can be a great thing, but when we use it as our main or only source for news and communication, I think we are selling ourselves short and missing out on life. When we stop being thinkers and seekers of truth and just become sheep who share things without bothering to find out the whole story, we become ignorant and non-productive, only spreading rumors and lies.

My challenge to you…turn it off. Read a newspaper instead of a Facebook story. Go print and make a photo album instead of sharing on Instagram. Call a friend and ask how their day was, set up a lunch date instead of tweeting about the latest reality show.  Schedule a session to have family portraits made before it’s too late. Save up for a professional or even just have your neighbor come over and click the camera but have it printed and framed.
Go camping for the weekend; don’t turn on your phone. Have a family game night, grab some popcorn and watch a DVD as a family (no online streaming).  Go toss a ball around with your kid instead of playing a video game.

The internet isn't the best thing out there, I promise