Imagine a world like this: you have all of your decisions made for you. An institution sets norms and makes your life choices, and then you have to live with them — you have to live up to them. You go to grade school, graduate from high school, and then you go to college. Media has become an incredible outlet of spreading clarity — and sharing your thoughts is the only clarity you have, the only clarity anyone has. Your leader, who is supposed to remain calm and insist on peace, instead thrives on hate and obsesses over possibilities of war. Individuals are targeted because of their skin color. You live in a place where individuals call poor and homeless people lazy. People are murdered on the streets at night. Oh, and your President can easily get away with being a cold, selfish, homophobic racist.
This world is the world you live in right now. This very minute. Now, take a minute, because on December 14th, 2017 — something called net neutrality could be deleted.
Net neutrality is an Obama-administered regulation that deems the internet to be a space that is open and available to everyone equally. It also prohibits well-established companies and their specific internet providers from slowing down their competitor's websites for their own monetary gain.
The deletion of net neutrality will create a world where we have to pay to communicate, share ideas, send texts, and even read our emails. A world where those texts, ideas, and emails are sifted through and looked at. Where someone with a fat wallet is always watching. Where our ability to know that these events take place is completely cut off and altered. A world where we are brainwashed into believing only certain things about certain types of people in power.
Net neutrality enforces and enables our right to have equal and untarnished access to everything that is on the internet. Without this regulation, our ability to see everything in many different perspectives will be hindered. Instead, our information will be decided for us based on how much we are willing to pay our internet providers.
This will impact the online environment as we know it. The format will look different, we will only be able to use the sites we pay for, and our developing small online businesses and blogs will evaporate into thin air. I won’t have a voice. You won’t have a voice. But, the people who can afford it will.
Are you scared yet? You should be.
This will eventually allow for propaganda to get out of hand, allowing our not-so-great President to portray himself in ways only he deems fit. Larger corporations will finally have the power they have always wanted to control their consumers as they desire. We will live in a simulation. Our decisions on what sites to visit and where to purchase goods from will be decided for us by either larger corporations on the internet or political ideologues — or, likely, forces that represent both. Our perceptions will not be our own, and everything we think we know will most likely be fake and fed to us for a sole purpose.
So, let's step up. If we come together, we can make a change.
We can use the media to our advantage for as long as we have it. We can spread the word about net neutrality and help to educate others on what is truly at stake. Let’s spread our own voices. The internet is our sole way of sharing our thoughts and opinions on everyday topics, so let’s share. The internet is our main outlet for free speech and press, so we should be using it to our advantage.
It is time to start posting. It is time to be heard.