The Internet And A Greater Kind Of Bystander Effect
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Politics and Activism

The Internet And A Greater Kind Of Bystander Effect

If you have a smartphone, then you have a responsibility.

The Internet And A Greater Kind Of Bystander Effect

In present day society, many of us in the western world are fortunate enough to have easy access to everything. Our basic needs are met: we have shelter and food. We have governmental systems that enable us to get at least a high school degree, access to Internet, electricity, running water and so much more. With the arrival of globalization through means of easier access to technology, this also means that we spend our lives browsing through social media and have unlimited access to information at the touch of our fingertips.

It’s also rather easy to not notice that through globalization, we are now learning to understand different communities besides just our own, from ethnic groups to cultural identities, religious groups, fan clubs and other kinds of people all over the world. But what does this mean for us? Every individual is connected in one way or another due to the globalization of our world, and that we have a responsibility to use those connections and access to information to help others around the world to live as freely as we do.

The Internet has created this larger version of a bystander effect; we all see the ongoing struggles of people all over the world, yet we choose to do nothing because we think that someone will probably go to their aid. We spend too much time trying to create barriers between “us” and “them” in order to dehumanize another group that someone finds difficult to relate to. I grew up learning that we are all human beings, no matter our physical appearance or personal views.

We should develop passions from the knowledge that we learn about our world, and find long-term resolutions for our future generations. Knowing that we are so fortunate to live in a developed nation should give us the motivation to want to help other individuals who can’t access the simple things that we can. For example, understanding that overpopulation causes resource depletion may lead you to want to find solutions for sustainable agriculture, or wanting to make education more accessible for children in underdeveloped or developing countries by helping to build more schools. Knowing that there are ongoing violations of human rights abuses or environmental destruction shouldn’t make us apathetic; we should develop our interests and extend beyond our comfort zones in order to want to change the direction in which our world is going. There are so many different kinds of issues that we can resolve through our access to resources. Individuals can definitely make a difference, as social media is the epitome of drawing together individuals to form communities.

We should not feel that we are held back by our fears and comfort zones. The Internet has made our world much smaller than it once was, providing us with infinite information. This information should create a purpose for individuals to help others because of our smaller, more globalized world.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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