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How to be a better digital citizen

The+internet+is+a+great+way+to+get+around+and+communicate+to+one+another%2C+but+recently+there+have+been+many+controversial+disagreements+to+whether+the+internet+more+bad+than+good%2C+students+from+the+school+pitch+in+about+the+topic+as+well%2C+%E2%80%9CThe+internet+is+the+best+thing+to+ever+happen.+It%E2%80%99s+a+shame+that+it%E2%80%99s+often+used+for+petty+things%2C%E2%80%9D+senior+Stephanie+Minassian+said.+Photo+attributions+to+Thomas+Hawk.
The internet is a great way to get around and communicate to one another, but recently there have been many controversial disagreements to whether the internet more bad than good, students from the school pitch in about the topic as well, “The internet is the best thing to ever happen. It’s a shame that it’s often used for petty things,” senior Stephanie Minassian said. Photo attributions to Thomas Hawk.
The internet is a great way to get around and communicate to one another, but recently there have been many controversial disagreements to whether the internet more bad than good, students from the school pitch in about the topic as well, “The internet is the best thing to ever happen. It’s a shame that it’s often used for petty things,” senior Stephanie Minassian said. Photo attributions to Thomas Hawk.
The internet is a great way to get around and communicate to one another, but recently there have been many controversial disagreements to whether the internet more bad than good, students from the school pitch in about the topic as well, “The internet is the best thing to ever happen. It’s a shame that it’s often used for petty things,” senior Stephanie Minassian said. Photo attributions to Thomas Hawk.

by Keith Loh, staff reporter

The internet is an effective tool to communicate, spread, and express thoughts and ideas, but tools that are misused are ineffective. The web is a community of people and no community can be productive if there are constant dissonances and discords. Disagreements can exist, but not in a hostile way.

“The internet is the best thing to ever happen. It’s a shame that it’s often used for petty things,” senior Stephanie Minassian said.

Many forget that the internet holds much of the world’s information; it is just a few keystrokes and clicks away. Even with all the knowledge in the world, many people use it for the wrong purposes. Instead of building off the ideas of one another and being constructive, some choose to be deconstructive.

With the increased availability of technology, more time is being spent on the internet. On average, teens spend 27 hours online. With all of this time spent online, some take comfort in the fact that they are behind a computer screen, and not face to face when engaging in a conversation. Because of this, some choose to say things that they wouldn’t otherwise say.

Certain social media outlets, such as Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook, are a good places to start advocating one’s thoughts. 4chan and Tumblr on the other hand should be avoided because these sites typically tend to attract younger audiences and have more “trolls”.

“4chan and Tumblr are entertaining sites, but a lot of the things that are said are unreliable and based on opinion,” senior Alessandro Leto said.

A common phrase of the web is to not, “feed the troll”. This means to avoid starting an arguement with a person that deliberately provokes confrontations. Internet trolls cannot be reasoned with because they purposely spark these disputes for their own entertainment. The formal definition of trolling is to trail a bait behind a boat to catch fish, much like a person trying to bait people into an altercation.

“Trolls are the worst, there’s no winning with them. The only thing you can really do is [to] ignore them,” senior Daniel Kricheli said.

This does not mean that one cannot debate with another. It means that one does not have to approve of another’s opinion, but to take it into consideration. It is recommended to debate in a proper and respectful manner and when stating one’s own opinion/thoughts/ideas, he or she should support it with facts; this makes what is said creditable.

Take into consideration that tone plays an important part when reading a text. Even the smallest details like a puncition or emoticon can make all the difference in how people perceive a message. For instance, when texting, using a period to end a sentence makes that sentence sound much more serious, or when using ellipses, can make a sentence/statement sound disappointing.

Studies show that the reason trolls troll is because they posses “dark” personality traits. These dark traits range from narcissism (excessive self-love), psychopathy (lack of empathy), and machiavellianism (which means to manipulate) and everyday sadism. Due to these personalities, it can be difficult for one to admit that he or she is wrong or for one to relate to another person, making it more likely for there to be conflict.

Do not be under the false impression that anything on the internet is private because it is “anonymous”. Trolls assume a sense of protection, knowing that the person that they are trolling may be thousands of miles apart/away from them. The trolls feel safe behind their computer screens and feel as if they can do whatever they please, without any consequences, but remember that what is put on the web forever stays on the web.

Haters gonna hate, but the cycle of hate can be broken. There will always be a disagreement, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be resolved. Avoid being a bigot because it is important to understand a person that has an opposing view.

The key word is maturity. By being more mature, one can decrease the chances of being trolled and increase the likelihood of being agreed with. An indicator of immaturity is the constant use of caps, slang, and claims without evidence. To be mature is to accept the fact that everyone has an opinion, that may vary and be different. This is how one can become both a better digital citizen, and a better person.

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