Like television, the internet was supposed to bring the world into your home. In 1984, a speaker at my Kiwanis Club talked about reading a book located in a library in Moscow, USSR while sitting at his computer in Moscow, Idaho USA. He said we were on the brink of a golden age.
Unlike television, where you had a set program time, the internet was always now. You could learn to knit at four o’clock in the morning. Or, learn to speak a foreign language before you went to bed. Knowledge was going to be free flowing and accessible to all.
At first, only scientists, researchers and libraries had access. But, as computers dropped in price the internet became accessible to all. Remember Bell Telephone? They were scheduled out months in advance installing second phone lines just for computer internet access.
However, like television, the internet hasn’t lived up to its expectations. Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of electronic television considered its programming drivel, and watching it a waste of time. Likewise, the lofty expectations of the internet were slowly destroyed by pornography and a race for the lowest common intellect.
Instead of being a great tool of inclusion. The internet has become the example of personal exclusivity. You need only read opinions you agree with. Only converse with people that agree with you. You can isolate yourself from the real world into one containing only your beliefs, values and opinions.
I haven’t done research on this, but I would wager that all these young male shooters live in an online world like this. A world where like minded people feed off each other’s emotions, sense of persecution and perceived unfairness of life. They close their minds to new ideas, while constantly reinforcing the ones they have. Be they correct, or not.
We’ve lost our community. We’ve lost our commonality. We’ve lost our empathy and understanding. We are loosing what it means to be human. We are loosing our humanity.
It’s not violent video games. Or, even television and movies. It’s our choice to create our own little worlds, rather than coexisting in the real one that’s the cause of the abhorrent behavior we’re seeing. Belief in God and trying to make America great again has very little to do with any of it.
As long as people freely choose to limit their knowledge and experiences, nothing will change. We are the most informed generation in the history of the world. We are also the most ignorant. The free flow of ideas, has killed the free flow of ideas.