What Will You Do to "Make A Better Internet?"
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My first foray on the Internet happened in 1995. My connection was fueled by a phone line, download speeds were slower than a 1G connection and there were no graphics-- only text. Throughout most of my life the internet has been regarded as "new," but we no longer can honestly describe it as such. The Internet has been around for decades, it's hardly "new."
Yet for a "mature" medium those who use it are often anything but. The internet has provided us countless invaluable tools such as the freedom to publish, near endless access to information and the ability to connect with those hundreds of thousands of miles away. As with anything, these tools have just as much potential for negative as positive.
Avoiding the "Bottom Half" of the Internet
Designer Rian van der Merwe believes we can make a better internet. This of course implies the Internet needs improving, which I agree. Merwe's argument is that there is a "Bottom Half" of the internet which is full of people posting hateful commentary fueled by an unexplained need for ones opinion to be consulted. One doesn't have to look much further than your average YouTube comment thread to find a worthy example. Facebook is plagued with "Bottom Half" content, where some feel it necessary to air their dirty laundry in a public setting. Others who obtain satisfaction from putting people down, posting derogatory content or inappropriate photos.
I think we can all agree this type of content and this type of behavior benefits nobody.
Making a Better Internet
As consumers and contributors to the internet, we all impact the quality of the web. In his article Merwe argues we can improve the internet by amplifying the "Top Half" of the internet, this done by publishing positive content rather than just complaints. He also goes on to advocate against being part of the "WWIC" culture (Why Wasn't I Consulted?) The WWIC culture being those who feel the need to post negative opinions on things that really don't pertain to them.
With all of this in mind, I ask you... what will you do to make a better internet? You will be publishing a lot of content through this class. I want you to think about what you will be doing to improve the internet and post a comment here describing your approach. Let us know how you will avoid contributing to the "bottom half" of the internet and amplifying the "top half."