Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel so uninspired…

Censorship.

That’s what’s on my mind. I don’t feel uninspired; however, the Internet is tricky. You (and I mean a general “you”) can’t exactly say whatever you want to say and expect that the world will applaud you. You have to watch what you say to a certain extent. Freedom of speech has its limits. Blogging has its rules. And so does chatting. And emailing. Everything you do on the net is permanently archived. It can also be read in any tone that the person whose reading it currently has in their head. This, for me, is a challenge of blogging. Blogs aren’t supposed to be rehearsed, edited, articles or pieces of literary journalism. They are supposed to be web “logs” – which, to me are the Captain’s daily diary entry. Gone public.

I’ll explain why.

On the one hand, when you’re online, some researchers say it’s possible that what you are experiencing is a certain level of disinhibition. You kinda let yourself go. You don’t worry about who’s reading it and what they’re thinking, you just kinda have no ‘filter’, so to speak, that you would normally have in a face-to-face conversation.

On the other hand, if you’ve read this recent New York Times article, or even if you haven’t, you probably know that your online reputation is at stake. Employers are looking you up. Depending on the type of job you have and the type of security ‘clearance’ you need, it is possible that employers may have access to everything you’ve got going on online, including your profiles on social networking sites and all other activities. To me, this means that all of those emails I’ve been exchanging since 1996 and everything else, are available to someone I haven’t even met. It’s a complete invasion of my privacy. So. That’s another reason to be careful of what you say online.

Controversy.

Plain and simple. What I feel is that the online realm has a cultural norm of stirring up controversy. An abrasive, vulgar tone is emanated from those people who are passive aggressive and want to somehow ‘make their point’ online. They disguise themselves under various pseudonyms and then they just go on a verbal rampage. Harshly criticizing that thing or piece of media that they lack affinity for. Is this the cultural norm that we want to emulate for children? To read more on this, I recommend this very well-written and researched article in The Guardian.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1mdgg_prince-controversy_music

I feel like even if I say something controversial – it isn’t controversial enough to compete with all of the controversial voices that have taken over the Internet. Is there any silence? Any part of the Internet which is free of the onslaught of these negative and crude voices? No. There isn’t. As long as it’s a public website, these commentators have taken over and have developed a new way to have their voices heard: that of swearing and ‘yelling’ online (in other words, they’re ‘trolls’ who engage in ‘flaming’).

Privacy.

You probably hear a lot of talk about privacy. Most people are quite concerned about it. Especially those who don’t have a Facebook account because they want to keep their activities, and their lives, basically, private. As Canadians, we are concerned with Privacy. As online citizens, are we just as concerned? Or is it a nonissue? I’m concerned.

I’m ok with Do Not Track. But at the same time I wonder what such centres’ prerogatives are. As citizens, we need more information on this. We need to know what exactly is happening to our information. We’re tired of reading fine print and brushing it off. Companies need to take responsibility and fully inform their users of what is happening to their information. It’s not only the “3rd party marketers” that shouldn’t have access to our privacy. It’s the very companies who provide that information to them.

Looking at this movie trailer for The Net, you may laugh, but it’s a reality that we’re living right now…to a certain extent.

In any case, those are some matters to consider before writing a blog post. Inspired or not.

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