\\FIRST TOPIC: Online Freedom of Expression\\
Ever had dilemmas like, “How do I let people know of my great idea to save the world?” or “How do I broadcast to the world what I think of this and that?”
Well, where’s the one place you know where people run rampant but happy all day, every day? No, it’s not the mall. Certainly isn’t school or work. Where, you ask? It’s where you are now: the Internet.
Everywhere you see, you see cell phones, gadgets, computers, and of course, the Internet. The world’s nothing nowadays without the technology that ‘rocks everybody’s world’. What used to be money that makes the world go round, is now technology.
One of our teachers recently conducted a school wide survey about environmental awareness. One of the questions there was, “What is your primary source of information?” Most of the survey forms I saw ticked off the Internet. This just goes to show that the Internet serves as a link for you and the rest of the world—a bond that connects people not only from different towns, but also across oceans and seas.
Let’s see. Since I’ve been active online, I…
[X] Contacted those elementary classmates I haven’t seen in 4 years.
[X] Saw what’s happening with my relatives on the other side of the world.
[X] Been able to react on crises around the world.
[X] Learned more about people I just passed on the halls and never exchanged a word with, and many more!
I admit I was unwilling at first. I hesitated to join social networks because I was afraid of embarrassing myself, of being humiliated for the way I think. But when the need to express myself became too much, I gave in, and I thought, “What the heck, it’s still a free country last time I checked. Plus, what’s life without a few embarrassing experiences, right?”
Suddenly, I was free to express myself. I was free to share to everyone what I knew. The Internet became a source of amusement, a plaything, but also a source of information, especially to those, like us PSHS-IRCers, with no other ready source of information like the television, newspapers, even radios.
From lines to links, I saw what the Internet is really capable of. I saw what I had been missing on. I saw the unity displayed by people from a dozen nations all over the world. I saw how TV news and other media used the Internet to spread information and gain popularity. But I also saw the bad side of the ‘net. I saw the lewd sites, the scattered scandals of people who are unaware, people who are innocent. I saw the victims of Internet porn, scandals, and malice shied away from the public eye, even as news programs and gossiping individuals sought to capture even one word from them. I saw how the plans of people seeking popularity backfired upon them, because of the methods they employed.
Even though I’m now an avid user of the Internet, I am still aware of these issues running rampant through cyberspace. I’m aware of what I write (or type, for this matter), and I accept the consequences I might get from it. But that’s the beauty of it, to have the freedom to write whatever you want, in a morally and socially acceptable manner. It’s why the Internet even exists for us netizens. For as we all know, too much of a good thing is always bad.
I think I speak for all the youth and the future generations when I say, a bad thing is not good for the world right now. Each of us have to do our parts in saving the world, whether it be through work, through programs, through info dissemination, or simply writing about it. After all, the pen is mightier than the sword. But let’s face it: you’d have to be a damn good writer so that what you write in paper can be seen by the whole world. What if you’re a kid, fresh with thoughts and outside-the-box ideas but shadowed by older, more experienced writers? Well, you have an alternative, you know. You’re here now. You’re in cyberspace where everyone in the world can see you. Where they can hear/read what you have to say. Don’t waste the opportunity to have your voice heard. Don’t pass up the chance, because who knows really? What we write now can actually save the world!