This might come as a bit of a shock to anyone who knows me, but I'm starting to wonder if the internet is a good thing. Not all of it obviously; there's some bits that I couldn't imagine living without now. It's more that the internet provides just about anyone with a voice.
I love blogs and blogging for this very reason, but I wonder about the risks associated with it. In the last week I've read a post stating that the measles outbreak in South Wales is a lie, and another post stating that a woman who is having an affair with a married man is actually helping that mans family. I've got no concerns about people voicing their opinions, but those opinions must be balanced surely? After all, it was the thoughts of just one man that caused the scare around the MMR vaccination in the first place. Look what happened there.
Scaremongering has always been around, I know. Certain daily newspapers take great delight in frightening people with snippets of information based on who knows what evidence. What's scary is that these bits of information very quickly become 'fact' and are spread around the internet at supersonic speed. It's getting harder and harder to know what to believe. I have started to check everything I read to find out if it is, in fact, true.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets scam emails. If you believed everything you read you'd never get out of your car, drink coke or have an onion in your fridge ever again. Snopes has become my new best friend.
It's not just email either. My Facebook news feed is full of the dangers of eating just about anything and companies who apparently want to give 30,000 iPads away for free. What is more concerning is the number of people who believe it. But how do you regulate this?
Another thing that's been winding me up on Facebook is seeing a constant stream of judgmental status updates. Apparently, anyone who watches reality TV is a chav, and anyone who watches soaps is a brainless idiot. Can I just say that one of my relatives has an MSc but he watches the soaps. Brainless? I don't think so. Just wanting to relax? Quite possibly. He also reads a lot. Go figure.
Why do people feel the need to judge other people on social networking sites? Is it okay to decide that anyone who doesn't like the same things as you must be stupid?
I am aware that all of this is just my opinion and maybe I'm being a bit of a hypocrite as I am now complaining about what others write online. So what do you think? Do you love that people now have a forum to write anything they want, or do you worry about some of the things that you read too?