Over the last decade, the Internet in Poland has become very popular. In the past, you used to get a bicycle, Lego blocks, roller skates for your First Communion. Later, young people got Neostrada (first easy access to cable internet). Until now, users have shared information and discoveries from the deepest corners of the web. This fascinated them and at the same time drove the machine, which, to operate efficiently, decided to limit itself to netiquette.
The age of Internet users has decreased significantly and from the community manager’s experience I notice that the vast majority of young people do not care about the rules of the digital world. It is oriented almost parasitically towards the content, and when it cannot obtain one, it rebels and starts a destructive fight, littering the Internet. As a result, the “quality of the network” drops, and the specifics that such people try to find are lost in it, and the machine of inevitable self-destruction powers itself.
It used to be a kind of honor to share information that you can participate in the new generation Internet phenomenon, now? After receiving a specific question with precisely defined content, people answer nonsensically, for example, “Look for yourself”, “The search engine does not bite”, or “What do you need this for?” instead of giving a specific answer. Experienced users mistakenly believe that novices (popularly known as Newbies) destroy the Internet as a medium for the free flow of information. And they are responsible for it. It is hard to imagine a situation when when we go to a shop stand and ask for a newspaper, we hear “look for yourself”, or that someone in the library will tell us that someone has already asked about this book and that they will not tell us where it is.
Digital exhibitionism over the internet
It’s easy to cross a certain line on the Internet. When navigating the web, we feel at ease and we minimize the dangers. In 2007, two films appeared on the Internet as part of the Think before you post campaign. The short scenes were primarily aimed at young people who post everything they can on the Internet, including their private data. Such digital exhibitionism is very dangerous. Yes, you can be whatever you want in front of your computer monitor. You can be yourself or a sexy blonde or an elderly millionaire. It all depends only on you and your imagination. Simple isn’t it? You must be aware that the person you are talking to may well be completely different from what you think. The Internet is a blessing but also a curse in this regard.
This is a very big problem.
In every society we find individuals who are ashamed of them, the so-called outcasts whom he wants to get rid of at all costs. Online anonymity, thanks to which you can become whoever you want, can serve as a cover for all kinds of pathologies, e.g. pedophiles. They may pretend to be a teenage child looking for friends – peers. On the other hand, many people become online exhibitionists by mindlessly sharing their photos or private data. In fact, on every forum or social networking site, we have the option of posting our photo. Very often I see that a friend checked in on Facebook in a city several hundred kilometers away. The perfect signal for thieves that nobody is home and will be away for a while.
Some people do not think about the effects of posting photos on the web. We see a new house, a car, children. Not only that, we can see very young people in erotic poses or completely naked. Even when such a person realizes that he or she has done wrong by publishing such a photo, it is too late because it has been reproduced infinitely many times in the digital world.
My friend, who has been running several websites on the Internet for many years, told me that each of us has a desire to show ourselves and praise our friends. Competition with others is to make us feel better than them.
The Think before you post campaign mentioned by me very aptly showed the problem. In one of the clips, we see a young girl who decided to put a picture of herself on the school notice board. Every time someone liked this photo and took it with him, another exact copy appeared on the board as if by the touch of a magic wand. After a while, everyone in the school had a picture of the teenager and discussed it. When the girl could not stand it and decided to take them off, she could not get rid of it because it kept coming back there.
The narrator comments: “Once you post your photo online, you can’t undo it anymore. Anyone can see them – family, friends, anyone. Not only good people.
Another example is a teenager named Sarah, returning from school, who is accosted by passersby of all ages. Each of them knows her name and asks her about various strange things (e.g. the coach of the school team says he likes her new tattoo, a ticket collector in the cinema asks what color of underwear she wears today).
The action is very important, if only because of the ease of publishing various multimedia on the web. Many sites (YouTube, dailymotion, Facebook) encourage Internet users to upload videos directly from their mobile phone. There are many facilitations through which, if we make one wrong move – we will become just such a person pointed at the street with the fingers. We can also destroy someone else’s life.
Another problem is online selfishness
The creators of websites where you can exchange various files, e.g. on the p2p network, know it very well. Many people on forums of such networks are angry with others that, immediately after downloading a file from someone, they prevent others from doing so. The situation is similar in almost every forum in the help section. When novice users ask about trivial things, instead of a specific answer, they learn that you can easily find something like that, you just have to want it. Experienced users argue that they write in this way because they do not intend to waste time for others. At this point I ask – since they know perfectly well where the collection is located, it will be no shorter to refer to it than to write the searched newbie claims?
In the first year of college, a friend of mine started a website. The concept was simple but brilliant. The website allowed his friends and the next year-olds of the same faculty to download notes, exam issues, studies and discuss them. It quickly turned out that everyone decided to take the easy way. Nobody prepared notes, because they could be found on the website. After all, no one was creating new material relying on someone else.
fot. Steve Rhode / Flickr CC BY