My beloved brother, Brad, was here to visit over the Christmas holidays. As always, we talked about blogging (check out his blog at commonsensiblyspeaking.wordpress.com).
We talked about each other’s different posts and expounded on many things within them. We got on the subject I’d written about ‘accountability’ and our conversation inspired this post. I’d mentioned about the lack of accountability today in general, and specifically on the internet – where we can choose what parts of ourselves to show and what parts we never reveal… where we can be open and honest or deceitful and hurtful. My brother, much more the cynic than I am, doesn’t give trust in the beginning, but makes people earn his trust through their actions, while I, on the other hand, give people the benefit of the doubt that they are portraying themselves as trustworthy as I am.
It was Brad who mentioned that I expect people to be accountable for their actions when, in truth, in today’s society, they have the world at their fingertips without consequence.
I had to process that for a few moments, and realized that what he said is quite true. I tend to find fault with the parents who don’t hold their children to consequences without considering, as each new generation exists more and more on a cyber lifestyle, whatever the parents might be doing is probably not enough compared to the amount of time children spend online in various forms where there is no consequence! There are, most likely, millions of spots on the internet where people go to interact (and therefore act). There are various gaming platforms, and within each, simply thousands of streams to enter. While streams are usually rated similarly to movies (family friendly, teen rated, 18+, etc.), there also exists a clear rule across the board not to engage in any age talk and not to mention your age. So yes, many teens under 18 enter an 18+ chat, and if they behave maturely enough, no one questions whether they belong. And, if they somehow get “found out”, they just simply move on to another streamer. If they say something inappropriate, they may get banned from ever going back to that stream but again, just move on elsewhere. There are no consequences for their behaviors and actions across the world-wide-web, and with that being the place where they “live” when not beholden to real life, they say and do things for which they will never be held accountable!
Listen, I love the Internet – can no longer imagine my life without it – but has our desire to fast, efficient on-line transactions and the ability to socialize across this medium made US somehow responsible for creating these new generations of entitlement and disrespect?
It certainly gives me pause and forces me to reflect on how much blame I can lay upon the parents when I am of the generation that wanted this faster, efficient way of life. Do I shoulder some of the responsibility for the future generations’ acts of entitlement? Do you?