Too much information

January 7, 2015 § 4 Comments

I am tired of the information age. I am tired of the endless onslaught of people’s opinions, of their stupid online arguments and shouting matches, of the exclamation marks and capital letters and one-upmanship of their social media feeds.

I’m tired of the intolerance. I’m tired of the trolling. I’m tired of the racism and hatred and rage that so many people seem to spew into the digital space. Spend some time on the comments sections of online newspapers or on social media, and you discover an underbelly of (barely) human beings who will leave you despairing for the future of this planet.

I tell myself that it’s not the full picture; that it’s like that one child in your class at school who spoils it for all the rest, but sometimes I’m not so sure. I’m not sure what to believe in a world where people set out to offend others for their religious beliefs, or for their lack of religious beliefs for that matter. Where a concept like rape culture even exists. Where children are abused and sexually exploited. Where we discriminate against people purely because they look different to us.

It’s too easy to write something in anger and hit the ‘post’ button. It’s too easy to vomit your vitriol onto the internet without thought for the consequences. It’s too easy to hide behind a keyboard and screen where you don’t have to see the impact your words might have. It’s too easy to hunt in virtual packs of scraggly, always growling hyenas, picking hungrily at the bleached, exposed bones of those who are brave enough to disagree.

And sometimes – quite often, actually – I find it’s all too much. I can’t read anymore. It’s completely overwhelming. Too many words. Just too many words. Ugly words. Words designed to hurt, to wound, to antagonise and vilify.

Words are the currency of my life. I live and breathe words, and I’m endlessly fascinated by them. But sometimes I just want to scream at the internet, at the online world in its entirety: “Just. Shut. Up!”

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