Steven Gradidge. Hi :)

Online Offline – It’s The Same You Know…

Posted on: June 27, 2012

I know, ‘tis been too long…

In preparation for an upcoming training session I was searching YouTube in the hunt to find out how particular online communities have come together in aid of a particular effort or cause. Almost like a communicative ‘whip round’ if you will and I was astonished by not just the volume, but for the causes people are willing to digitally protest for.

Campaigns ranging from finding an ailing woman a replacement kidney to the annual phenomenon that is the top and hairy lip ritual of Movember. People go goo-goo for a good cause irrespective of its motives.

Steven Gradidge – Movember 2010

This is because the Internet is no longer an escape of real life through a network of hardware and software. The Internet is now a place where its actions can be felt and seen on its offline counterpart. This changes everything. It changes things because it there is now a required etiquette and an expected consequence to every click made online. There is no longer an online community. We are past that.

Take the recent dumping of England from Euro 2012. To some absolute fucking idiots it was justifiable behaviour to racially abuse Ashley Cole and Ashley Young as a result from them missing penalties. Obviously these vile trolls were reported to the authorities and are currently under investigation.

Now answer this; when would it ever be acceptable offline to speak to people in the way these trolls did to the two footballers? Never I hear you say, so why are so many of these trolling obscenities gracing our newsfeeds and timelines? This is not an isolated case either, with a student recently being kicked off his university course as a result of his racist tweets. #Gutted

More needs to be done. At all levels an emphasis on education is necessary to stress that every click, comment, post, tweet, blog post, forum thread has a potential consequence.

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