It’s International Internet Day, a day when everything regarding internet is discussed and celebrated.
I’m one of the first generations of children to grow up with the internet and computers. I really can’t imagine my life without having access to internet. It’s such a convenient way to get information, or even start research, to get entertainment, free books, or anything else. We’re spoiled by the quick access to all this knowledge and media platforms. I know how slow and basic internet sites were when we had to use the old dial up system, the horrible noises it made as it connected, or how you couldn’t call if it used the same phone line. I’m not blind to the many pitfalls either, but I believe this is one of the most important technological inventions in the late 20th century.
Most of our concerns with internet today are connected to privacy protection, cyber bullying, and safe use of social networks, especially for children and teenagers. As the saying goes – internet is forever. We have to be smart about the information and material we publish every day. The same goes for bloggers like me. I haven’t posted a lot of posts about feminism precisely because there were some inappropriate comments coming in and I so don’t need abuse from virtual strangers for having my own opinion on issues. I’m rather focusing on books, movies, and TV series instead. It’s also less depressing.
Yet I’m often rethinking my decision because what I’m basically doing is self-censure. There’s a lot of this going around lately, not to mention the almost constant attempts to muzzle internet freedom. I don’t wish the world to return to pre-internet age because so many of the usual structures used to circumvent state-governed censure and gag laws are no longer there. Do we really need underground newspapers and pamphlets? It is also our right as human beings and citizens to have free access to information of great public importance. We have a right to learn about issues, law amendmends, and government decisions that impact our everyday lives.