I believe mankind has always been and will always be cruel. Every generation finds new ways to hurt and bring harm to its members and the generation that follows them.
Society cannot blame its cruelty on modern technology or the online world.
The Internet is a channel in which messages of human design are sent. To blame the Internet for human ugliness is to blame the messenger for the message.
The online world is not poisoning society; it is merely making it easier for people to spread their nastiest.
Bullying, for example has taken on a new form through the Internet in the modern world called cyberbullying.
“Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat and websites. (Stop Cyberbullying)”
Long before the online world existed children were teasing and picking on one another, calling each other foul names and acting out physical violence toward one another.
The online world has simply decreased the responsibility of these actions through anonymity. The anonymous nature of the Internet allows for students who under normal circumstances would not possess the courage to speak degradingly or act viciously toward a peer to find a new dauntlessness behind the keys of a message board and become a cyberbully.
It is not just children who take advantage of the online world and the opportunities for hate that it offers. Adults and children alike are capable of terrible things and the Internet makes it easier to be terrible without consequence.
Trolling is a slang term for Internet users who are purposely trying to evoke anger or frustration from someone online. Trolling is typically acted out by someone who has no relation to the subject they are commenting on or the person they are insulting or being rude toward.
Trolling is simply being nasty because one can.
In the last few years the issue of trolling has risen up and become a societal and legal problem worldwide.
In the UK laws against trolling have already existed for sometime and the government there has been working to make punishment for these crimes even stricter (BBC News).
Individuals who find themselves the victim of trolling and cyberbullying can be at a high risk for depression, low self-esteem and even suicide.
It is unfortunate that the Internet, which is a valuable tool that has reshaped society, has been used to spread so much vile hate.
Our culture has for too long passed on the blame for its cruel nature to the closest scapegoat. If we ever hope to change ourselves for the better we must first accept responsibility for our actions, that is all of our actions, whether in person or online.
Society must first admit that it is the ugliness of human nature and not the online world that creates hate and fear before we can begin to fix this growing problem.