The internet brings out both the best and worst in people.
It allows the making of pacts between people who feel the same way; pacts to survive at least one more week, pacts to stay alive, but also pacts for suicide.
It allows you to find voices that agree with what you are thinking. But it will also expose you to those who disagree and those who wish to change you.
It can be good for you or bad for you, depending on the choices you make.
The intense reality of being connected all the time and the incessant vibrating of notifications can exacerbate insomnia or other sleep problems. The background thought “I’ve got to check twitter” can damage you concentration when you need it.
But the internet can also be a place to clear your thoughts, whether it be to a friend or to someone you have never even met. I’ve often found solace in talking to someone I don’t really know about quite personal things.
Solutions to many of life’s problems can be found, when you ask for them online. Not just from your real-life friends, but from experts far and wide.
Find the right hashtag on twitter and you can have a mental health worker, doctor or psychologist reading your tweets in no time.
The internet is one of very few things which gives me hope for the future of humanity.
Well actually it’s much more than just ‘the internet’ as a tool which give me hope.
It’s not just the sheer volume of information. It’s not just the ability to communicate instantly with dozens of people from different locations all at once.
It’s more than that.
It’s the communities I’ve become a part of and the huge variety of people I’ve met online.
From the random US citizens I spoke to on IRC in 1996, to Iraqi bloggers I met online in 2004, to local activists I met through Twitter and Facebook in 2011.
The fact that I can meet these people from the safety of my own home has made me a different person than I would have been otherwise. It broke cultural barriers and freed me from relying on mainstream sources to learn about other parts of the world.