shy and quiet
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Politics and Activism

shy and quiet

koyn, the app coming soon!

shy and quiet

Social media is not serving people who are shy and quiet. If no one "likes" your posts, you get no attention. If there are thousands of people screaming about a subject, individual voices will not be heard. If you are participating in a "club" or forum, many people speak but only a minority are heard. If you are in a group, ideas and opinions are not yours, they are the group's. There must be a better way. We must move from personality to participation. We must make it easy for all people to engage in social media.

Some might say social media has done everything possible. Expressing an idea or thought can be completed easily with a phone keyboard, and many platforms now incorporate voice input. Given that it is easy to communicate on social media, there should be no barriers for people to participate, right?

Wrong. It is not easy for all to participate. Some people are frightened to participate due to the threat of bullying no matter how easy the interface.

Fear of bullying reminds me of the movie The Christmas Story and how bullying can lead to a volatile end. The Christmas Story is based on the life of the writer Jean Shepherd who wrote "In God We Trust All Others Pay Cash". The movie draws from the writer's life in elementary school. Daily on his way to school the main character is bullied and it is painful. He took it and took it for only so long before he turned and started pummeling the bully. In a way it was cute to see this small bespectacled young man giving the bully what he deserved, but it also sent a chilling message. I ask myself how many young quiet people are being bullied on the internet and let it happen until they cannot take it anymore. They may not have the ability to pummel the bully, but much worse things can happen. Face it, more bullying occurs on the internet than in any elementary school yard.

Speaking can be as traumatizing as bullying for some. Ironically, some of the greatest ideas come from people who are too shy to speak. Supposedly Albert Einstein did not start speaking until he was 4 years old, and even then it took him a long time to speak fluently. There is even a theory called the "Einstein Syndrome" established by Stanford economist Thomas Sowell. "Einstein Syndrome" describes bright people whose speech was delayed. Maybe there are some who are very bright, and the delay of speaking caused fear that existed long after childhood. No matter how racy the voice interface is, such people will not participate.

So, if bullying and communication are headwinds to social media engagement, what do we have? What can we do?

The answer is a social media platform that allows comments and opinions to be voiced in an anonymous and easy to use format, while securing it from bots and trolls. Anonymity coupled with security lowers the risk of communicating something that will be attacked personally. A format that does not require speaking or (public) writing to participate may mitigate the fear of expression in some.

There is such a platform, and it is called koyn. koyn is an opinion platform where opinions can be created and commented on by selecting from a binary choice as simple as "Agree" or "Disagree". No writing or speaking is required to participate in the narrative. If a person so chooses, they can write a short comment, but it is not necessary. More importantly, a user can choose to remain anonymous, meaning bullying is less of a threat. So, if you are shy about communicating or fearful of someone bullying you on social media but still want to join the narrative, check out koyn.

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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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