Opinion Nation: Enter at Your Own Risk
Dictionary.com defines "opination" as "the act of thinking" or "a supposition." As blogging has become popular in an official or unofficial capacity, we become aware of each other's thoughts and opinions on a whole different level. What we were once content to keep to ourselves (or not) before this advent of online web logging is now out in the open for all to read and access. We have become a world-wide nation of opinions calling out for attention. Those of us who are students or used to be not long ago have evolved from diary-writers to essay- and article-writers to online bloggers to get our points across to a wider and wider audience. But if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? While it may be true that while our content does physically exist and take up space on a server somewhere, it will only be read by those who look for it or stumble across it. We make a sound, but we only know if anyone heard it if they make a sound back.
Sometimes we don't want that sound coming back if it's negative. Have you ever gotten nasty or threatening messages on your YouTube videos, particularly ones that aren't your best work? Sometimes no feedback is good feedback. After all, it's better to say nothing at all if you have nothing nice or constructive to say. The rules for the written word are ever-changing, but sometimes I worry that the change is in the wrong direction. Cyberbullying is gaining more attention in the public eye as of late, but no one can do anything to stop it. We all have freedom of speech, but we also have rules of decorum that are supposed to keep us from hurting each other with that speech. Enforcing it has become a task that is next to impossible to the point where the people who are supposed to help are frustrated to the point of actually making the problem worse with cruel indifference. The best we can do for each other is to lead by example and pay each other a compliment every once and again.