The Trouble with the Internet is…

Everyone has an opinion... and everyone can be wrong.
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Since the internet became… well the internet, I have witnessed some truly amazing things. I’ve watched as complete strangers rally together time and time again to help out someone in need,  been encouraged and spurred on as critical causes and issues have been brought into to the realm of public forum and have experienced a truly global level of awareness and education on topics that impact all 7 billion plus of us that share this little green space and I have to say that it’s wonderful.

Yet nothing is perfect and as is the case of the internet, we have created a culture that isn’t always putting its best foot forward. For every encouraging story, inspiring quote and wonderful cat meme, I am also greeted with countless moments of ridiculousness just straight up crazy moments.


It was reported this past week that Bungie was to remove a gauntlet that had imagery that resembled a hate group. Needless to say, I grabbed some popcorn, sat back and watched the forums explode following the announcement. Every opinion and knee-jerk reaction you can imagine found its way to the posts section and it was like watching someone try to herd cats, so much action so little accomplished. It does, however, raise an interesting point about the culture of the internet that I have noticed has become more and more prominent over the last few years; we are a very reactive culture.

The internet seems to thrive on rallying behind or against some cause, idea or latest tweet and spewing forth whatever comes to mind. This has created some great written entertainment but in all seriousness has caused a lot of harm both to individuals and groups alike. The reason a reactive culture can be so devastating is that it tends to miss information, doesn’t take the time read the whole story and most importantly never puts the thing being critiqued or discussed in context. We are notorious for it. In our journey to becoming social justice warriors we have lost what makes a social justice warrior effective – The ability to respond vs react.


A response to issues, concerns, etc. is what separates a troll on the internet from someone with the power to make a change. Responding, not reacting, to ideas, issues and the like forces you to stop, process and gather additional information thus slowing down the dialog. We have seen so many examples of foot in mouth syndrome in recent times that it has almost become the standard approach to tackling news both gaming and otherwise.

The internet can be an incredible tool that fosters community, lets loose creativity and educates the masses. Yet it is up to us to shape how this tool is used. As gamers we are in a unique position to promote a new cultural paradigm because we really do spend more time here than the rest of society. So i’d argue that the onus is on us to become a culture that responds instead of reacts.

What are your thoughts on this idea of response vs reaction? Do you feel that it’s an issue? Let me know in the comments section below.

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