The world we live in is driven by information and technology. It’s never been more accessible, and finding information has never, ever, been easier. However, with all of this information out there, being digested, recycled and reshared, can you tell the difference between the noise and the really valuable titbits online? I think the internet is becoming too much of a real entity, and less fun, mostly because of the big ol’ grey cloud which continues to grow, every day.
Deciphering the grey cloud (areas), or the “details” as I like to the refer to them on social media, and the internet in general, takes up so much of our time, that more often than not we forget what really matters. What, when, who, why and how are the cornerstone questions of any event, but none of them change the fact that said event already happened.
This is where I think we can all be better people, and for the better of humanity as whole. The details of stories are the juicy bits of the story, they’re the parts that are retold, debated, and analysed to death after an event, or post some newsworthy tragedy. This is where the problem starts. Everyone has an opinion and because social media has taken on the role of a soapbox, we all feel inclined to share our opinions, whether they add value to the conversation or not. This is the main grey area I am referring to, the self-importance we as humans have extended to our online personas.
These details evoke all kinds of emotions, and with the voice given to users of social media, everyone tries to scream the loudest, to tell the world their view. I know many people will think this is a good thing, when in actuality, I think it just adds to the noise. It fills the world with more useless information, more grey, and another step away from the real issues behind said matters.
This grey area has become such a massive part of your life, that you may not even know it. How often have you read something online where someone reacted like a fool, then gone home to tell someone what you think about that person’s reaction as if that was the news story? I know I have, even though I know that it’s completely futile and doesn’t matter at all in the bigger scheme of things.
We’re filling the world up with so many details and useless things, that our really important values are forgotten. It’s up to us, to be responsible citizens, and compassionate human beings when it comes to the sharing of news and the forming of opinions. I want to appeal to people to be stronger, more opinionated and to not get caught up in the hype, but to see whatever the flavour of the week is, for what it really is.
Let’s look at Oscar Pistorius’ situation. Actually, that’s the wrong way to put it; it’s the murder of Reeva Steenkamp situation, because THAT is the real story here. That is what is important; an innocent person was shot, and killed. Who, what, why, when and how are the crux of each news report; however they’re only a means to an end, that end being a story readers want to see. I want us all to be bigger and better than that. I want us to see past the grey mist which hides the black and white nature of the modern world.
Stop fretting about things you can’t change, and take an actual stand against or for the things you can. Think about what you post, how you say things and about the way in which you react. If your opinion only adds another opinion, is it really worth sharing? I know you want your voice to be heard, but you should also be acutely aware of where you are sharing what, and why.
As a final thought though, I present you this. In this story I’ve gotten too involved in the grey areas myself, talking about social media, people’s opinions, and Oscar, but when it comes down to it, none of that even matters.
Social media is not a substitute for real human interaction, and it can’t solve the world’s problems. Remember that it’s not the real thing; it’s not a tangible entity. It’s just a platform for communications and information. That is all it is. It’s not the saviour of the third world, or the jury for the first; it’s a tool to enhance our lives.
It’s just the internet. It’s the biggest cloud in the world, and it’s so distinctly grey that you need a really sound compass to navigate all of its treacherous corners.