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Is The Internet Getting Too LOUD?

The internet has become a special beehive. It feels like a million bees are buzzing away their days, hopping from one place to another, looking for something.  But never finding it.

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I don’t think the buzzing per se is bad. We buzz about everything in life. Every thing. Hell, it should be a good thing. I am certain most of it is. But of late, it’s just gotten so damn noisy. So damn noisy I can feel it sink under my skin, burn my veins, rattle my nerves, vibrate in my bones, even stop my heart a beat longer than I can handle.

My newsfeed is hijacked by articles that pick on everything from food to fashion and politics to parenting. It feels as if cyberspace has suddenly morphed into a parliamentary session with full attendance. There are countless voices –all FIGHTING to be heard.

Suggested read: Of loneliness and miracles: Why we are so unhappy

Of late, this noise is getting a whole lot angrier too. There’s incendiary shaming, vitriolic insulting, spiteful blame-games and a whole range of rancorous ranting. If only the virtual presence could turn real, I can bet anything it’d be a massacre. In all possibility- war. I say it because online platforms are no longer fecund ground for discourse. They are the ring for word-wrestling. Packing some punches and knocking opponents down is all that matters! Brute force or sheer application of technique- nobody can say!

When an article that deems ‘motherhood’ an innate instinct goes live, stating how motherhood isn’t a job, a whole gamut of acerbic response articles sprout back, as if in collective rebellion to establish why stay-at-home parenting isn’t a luxury!

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This exchange of ideas would not be bad, per se, if only it didn’t wait to surge through cyberspace like rookies screaming from rooftops.

Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. More buzz.

Amidst all the noise, discourse stands defeated. What wins is a maddening competitiveness that shall stop at nothing to establish the supremacy of their own perspective. Here’s where the whole idea of a democratic liberal space for exchanging ideas and opinions fails, big time.

In engaging in ethnocentric models of thinking, claiming to know what is best for all, the netizens spew angry words, retch up accusations, level allegations and throw around swearwords like confetti at a celebration. Maybe they think it is a celebration. When they succeed at poking their stick at this beehive and creating a buzz that sparks more than a few stings, they latch on to their claim to fame. Fleeting as internet fame is, maybe they think it is a laudable act. Maybe they think that if they, too, can get in the midst of all the heat, chip in a dozen nasty comments, spurt some negativity- they can get their ticket to hop aboard the intelligentsia wagon. (Whoever said ignorance was bliss, huh?)

If anything, this LOUD buzz of ‘opposition for the sake of opposition’ has multiplied at such a rate that I can’t nearly hear the buzz of thoughts in my own head. And the more I dwell on it, the more I realize that it isn’t doing me any good. The more time I spend on the internet, the more angrier and judgmental I become. This piece is, perhaps, a case in point. I don’t know.

As a calm and collected individual, I have no qualms leaving it unto the informed readers to decide if my anger is misdirected or if the internet really has turned into a madhouse. You see- my title asks a question too. But I do feel that I can express my feelings here. Freely.

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Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

As a writer, I am constantly engaging with the buzz. I have to. There are the eager bees, constantly humming in the background with a buzz fueled by routine and then, there are the newcomers, who are filled with vibrant excitement at all the possibilities of tapping the ‘honey’ the cyberpot seems to be spilling out. On the journey, I have my own internal buzzing, because hello, I have my own opinions to air. But can I block out the LOUDness to do my bit? Will anybody hear my voice when all the critics and naysayers are out with their blaring speakers?

I am not quite sure.

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I am but a tiny, little bee. And I know I don’t want to be big and noisy. Surely not so, when being it implies I have to direct fiery stings of criticism and judgment, just to rush in and shout and stake my claim.

I am not laying out any demands. I do not want to hurt and upset and fight.

Of course, I have my own jittery twangs of ‘what-am-I-doing’ pulsating within but that drowns out in the external buzz. For that and that alone, I am glad for the noise. As for the rest part, I want to drown it out.

I want conversation.

I want healthy discussion.

I want to observe and absorb and then, be allowed to express my own thoughts.

I want freedom- from judgment, from negativity, from defensiveness, from anger, from contortions, from self-righteousness, from criticism, from blame.

In rooting for these, I demand a place where words inspire free thinking and where this noise is not as loud or angry. I am not sure this place exists- but I know I want to be there.

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Because no matter what we do, how much of a know-it-all we claim to be, we cannot assume we know what’s best for people. We cannot tell them what to wear, what to eat and how to raise their kids. Sure, suggestions are always in order- but blaming, criticizing, judging- that’s where it all goes wrong. Can we stop the buzzing? Can we believe that a cyberspace sans all judgment and blaming shall BECOME the quiet haven where all voices are heard?  Because maybe someone, among the swarm, knows just where the sweetest nectar is!

And stinging is forbidden there!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Is The Internet Getting Too LOUD?
If the raucous rants on the internet turned real, would we have another war?
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."