In the Age of Information, Ignorance is a Choice

Before I even get started, I want to say right away that the title of this post is not something I agree with. A little while ago I saw that phrase posted as one of those ‘inspirational’ photos you see on Facebook and I was quite surprised to see it getting a lot of support. I think the phrase sums my main problem with the internet community quite nicely.
    First, I had better explain why it is that I disagree with that phrase. While information is a lot more readily available these days thanks to the internet, not everybody is aware just how useful it is, or where exactly to look for specific information. Furthermore, all people learn in different ways. For some, it might be possible to just read information on the internet and then to just know it, but that is quite simply not the way that everybody’s mind works. To expect everybody to have been able to teach themselves about various subjects via the internet. Furthermore, time is another crucial element: many people work very demanding jobs and for only a small amount of money and I can’t imagine they’re going to want to spend their free time doing something as taxing as teaching themselves.  And then of course there are also countries where the internet is heavily censored or people don’t have much access to it anyway. I know this argument may also have been aimed at people who are ignorant of other people, rather than unlearned people, but even so, if people believe incorrect misconceptions, the media is to blame for perpetrating them and those holding the false beliefs need to be educated rather than ridiculed.
    Now that brings me to me somewhat sad conclusion about the internet: while it me be a very lovely and useful tool, it has created a small culture of people who seem to hold nothing higher than intelligence. People are always being so incredibly pedantic and correcting the typos and grammatical errors of others just to show that they know the correct way of writings things and putting others down for not knowing the facts about things. You only have to look to ‘humour’ sites to see hundreds of pictures of somebody having written a Facebook status or a Twitter Tweet that is factually incorrect, followed by the horrible ‘kill yourself’ man. I can’t help but sadly wonder what a nice place the internet could be if politeness and kindness were held in the same high regard as sarcasm and intelligence.

(This week’s second Finger Puppet Show.)

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