The Existential Crisis of Everyone Online – Let’s Take a Collective Breath

Culture, Philosophy, and Humanity , Culture, Society and Art , Gerd's Reads , Updates

This isn’t a story about Gamergate… This is about what living with Gamergate has been like, and what it may do next…

Read more from The Atlantic via Pocket

The notion of creating and implementing social norms in our online society is interesting because our “society” actually refers to much of our entire global population. People from every possible life category have the freedom to express themselves online. As a result, social standards are naturally emerging in different social networks, creating certain kinds of network personality types. It’s fascinating to see our collective struggle to adjust to everyone’s unique style. According to this article, we are definitely getting into some shady ethical territory as we explore and exploit this new abundance of global communication.

It seems that emotions are running a bit high online and it’s causing people to either A) get overly involved with questionable, elitist organizations or B) become wildly concerned with Miley Cyrus and other individuals they truly know nothing about. If this reaction is not ideal, as it breeds negativity (and a huge waste of time), it stands to reason that trying the opposite behaviors might create a more hospitable environment online.

This would mean we, the Residents of the Internet, would need to focus instead on becoming informed customers, subscribers and participants – and on becoming more concerned with our own stories, paying more attention to ourselves and our own actions. If we are to unite as Residents of the Internet to create a functioning society online, one that encourages freedom of self expression, we should probably create a global culture in which it’s cool to be an educated consumer interested in collaboration for personal growth. In my opinion, this mission should be left to the people that actually use the internet, not government institutions that originate and operate offline.

So, how can we, as Residents, make this happen?

Gerd Leonhard


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