Wild West of the Internet

By Mark Antony Rossi 

The benefits of the Internet are truly enormous. I have sold books. Maintain a weekly column. Communicate with interesting people from around the globe. I’ve purchased products and pay bills using its speed and reach. The Internet can be a blessing and a wretched curse.

I’ve seen people get slandered, smeared and practically sliced open because they uttered a religious idea or ideal. Apparently atheists prowl the world wide web seeking to expose anyone who believes in a Higher Power. I often wonder what an alcoholic atheist depends on since they don’t believe in a Higher Power.

The Internet is also a digital Wild Wild West where introverts turn perverted and spout bigoted hatred and spread pornographic filth like a cheap coat of paint on a homeless shelter. For every home-cooked meal recipe there’s a nut with a sword hacking the heads off of so-called heathens.

As much as the Internet has become a vital tool of communication and commerce it’s also a dark weapon used to bully children in school, a dangerous dating platform associated with stalkings and murder, and a terrorist tool globally reaching and teaching the emotionally and psychologically vulnerable.

Even where the Internet appears to do some good in the education area such as Google Classroom there is still a valid concern regarding the diminishing practice of cursive writing. Where technology adds to our lives one must be on guard for privacy intrusions that reduce the quality of existence.

Virus protectors, ad blockers and child filters promise they can tame the digital wild frontier but their results are inconsistent and serve to reminder us how automation erodes the individual initiative and arguably the public character.

I’ve realized nothing in the name of efficiency has been worth the sacrifice. Why save time here while you just made the world more dangerous over there? The Internet as other devices might prove to be beneficial in our lives if we can only figure out how to master them instead of allowing them to master us.

About the Author: Mark Antony Rossi is a poet, playwright and author of the bioethics volume “Dark Tech” now available from Amazon. His most recent plays have been produced in Liverpool and New York.


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