People should be careful with what they share and post in the internet. Unlike other platforms, the internet is accessed by millions of people all over the world at any given time. One single statement posted on an internet site can spread to everyone. That is why people should be careful when using the internet. Most of the time, it creates more disadvantages and negative effects if the person is reckless and irresponsible. There are many cases wherein celebrities and well-known personalities posted malicious, controversial and indecent photos and blogs in the internet, with unfortunate outcomes – it either led to their downfall or condemnation.
When using the internet, people should consider a lot of things including the reaction of people coming from different industries and sectors. A lot of people are very quick in jumping to conclusions even though the message posted in the internet site is second-hand, unconfirmed, brief and simple. One single statement can be misinterpreted. The general public is very biased and judgmental when it comes to people. In fact, the good acts and history of the person who made the statement would be ignored and overlooked. This is very evident in the internet since people freely comment and send feedback. Most of the comments are discriminating since most people do not watch and monitor their words.
Todd Henderson: We Are The Super Rich
There are many severe cases wherein a person has been condemned in society due to unwanted attention in the internet. Todd Henderson, a high-profile millionaire blogger is one of the victims who have been recently targeted in many sites and pages due to one single blog that changed how people perceive him. He released a blog discussing sensitive topics during the recession. It was about tax exemptions and cuts for the high-class people. According to him, the taxes imposed on rich people are too much and is unfair since a large bulk of their money are taken.
In his blog, Todd Henderson showed his actual income and tax statement. Todd earned $450,000 dollars a month. This is very substantial to a lot of people since others would have an annual income of less than a hundred thousand dollars. The breakdown of his expenses has also been included. His monthly dues and payments are composed of private school tuition fees for the kids, car bills, house bills, shopping money and other needs. After all the payments including taxes, Todd would only be left with a hundred dollars. Aside from the income statement, Todd also posted his comments regarding money and income. He stated that a monthly income of 250,000 dollars a month would include the person in the high levels of society.
Henderson reiterated on his post, “That makes me super loaded and is subjected to a big tax raise if the president has his way.” He further added, “Mr. President and I are neighbors in Chicago but we’ve never seen each other. If given the chance, I would want him to meet me and my family. Then, give him an honest idea about our lifestyle, the kind which he thinks is competent of financing the vast discourse of governance he is planning to implement. A quick perception at our family budget, which I can willingly share with the White House, will convey him that similar to numerous Americans, we are trying to make ends meet despite seeming to be affluent. We aren’t.”
The blog created by Todd Henderson attracted a lot of attention especially from the lower and middle class parts of society. A lot of people claimed that Todd lived a very materialistic life considering his monthly income is greater than the annual income of many people by two times. Some of the claims are realistic and truthful. But due to the unrestricted access to the blog, hate messages and comments have been sent. The number of haters grew since the criticism created by others has clouded the perception of many people. In fact, many people reacted based on the initial comments created by others.
The reason for the hateful comments towards the blog was due to the current recession. A lot of people lacked the money to pay for their house-related expenses including electricity and amortization, food, and education of the children. People would stay on the streets due to lack of money to pay for their mortgages and loans. Contrary to the current recession, Todd Henderson lived a very extravagant life, buying everything he wants. He lived in a large house with two luxury vehicles. Despite of all his excess and material things, he complained that the tax bracket assigned to the higher class would compromise his lifestyle.
Due to the negativity towards Todd Henderson and his family, he removed the blog posts and the actual web page he was using previously. In fact, a lot of people saw Todd as an ungrateful and spoiled person who did not consider the hardships and lives of others. The main mistake of Todd was being blunt and direct. Some comments should have been kept personal and isolated. The digital age poses a lot of problems especially when it comes to communication with other people. The delivery of one single statement can be altered which would bring out the negative meaning. Everybody should use the internet with caution.
“In my online world, never would I delete such a post but I decided to take down and delete it because my wife, who fervently disagreed with my opinion and would not want to publish this post, opposed in including the private details regarding our family. Looking back, my post awakened other people’s thoughts which led me to believe that it was highly effective but at the same time, extremely unintelligent thing to commit. I can’t imagine all the personal messages I received from my email. These messages were intentionally made to attack and harass me! All of these made my family feel insecure and vulnerable. This is not quite the right time to occur in our family as we recently had very early preemie. Just to clear things up, I only should have said that those proposed tax increases will negatively impact our family and our country and nothing more. I sincerely apologize to my wife, my three children and to those I offended with my post. To those people who I believe have pitchforks in their hands, I feel sorry for you because instead of attacking my message, you attacked me. You don’t know what damage you have caused towards me. My message might not be right, might even be stupid, but there’s no way I deserved what you have done.”
Cynthia Moreno: An Ode to Coalinga
Another person who has been highly criticized in the internet is Cynthia Moreno. During the time of the incident, Cynthia Moreno was only in college. She created a blog about the city of California in one of the famous social networking sites. The blog contained personal views and opinions regarding California. Although no direct negative comment was directly posted, a lot of things have been misinterpreted. A simple criticism regarding the system in California was taken as a major statement. It reached so many people in an instant which drew negative comments and feedback. Only people who know Cynthia Moreno directly would know the meaning attributed to the blog.
Once a certain statement or message has been posted in the internet, it cannot be retracted or reversed. This is the main problem experienced by people using the internet. The internet is a very large place connected by thousands of internet sites. This has been proven especially by celebrities who were destroyed and discriminated for posting pictures, messages and statements which were not received warmly by the general public. This is what happened to Cynthia. It would be hard to reconsider her position since the negativity towards her has grown greater due to the unruly mob commenting against her continually.
The former principal of Cynthia Moreno at her local high school was the one who started the hate messages against her. This goes to show how miscommunication in the internet can happen between two people who know each other. One single post has led many of the people living in the community of Cynthia Moreno to turn against her. Due to this, Cynthia and her family was forced to move out and find another home. The threats were starting to turn physical since their home has been vandalized and damaged by people in the surrounding area. Because of miscommunication, their lives were put in danger.
The nature and psychology of people is to blame and be blamed. People tend to jump to conclusions if ever they read something they do not like. That is why the internet is considered a very dangerous tool. It can bring out the best and worst aspect of a person. People who have been using the internet forget that they are interacting with other human beings using the network. A person has been simplified to a username. Due to this, people tend to overreact and say things that are very degrading to other people. This would definitely create a lot of problems in society.
Viral mentality is the term used by experts when explaining the events which led to the situation of Todd Henderson and Cynthia Moreno. Viral mentality occurs when people are convinced that a person has done something wrong due to the overwhelming comments and feedback found in the internet. Although the people do not know the person being criticized or the reason and accusations being established, they comment negatively. This happens regularly in the internet. It only creates a culture of hate amount people using the internet. That is why many conflicts between two groups or people occur.
People should evaluate and assess their statements before posting anything in the internet. This is necessary to avoid any unwanted comments and feedback regarding the things posted in the internet. People should know that millions of internet users are present on a regular basis. Thousands of users come from different countries which have specific ideals, cultures and perceptions in life. Conflicts can be easily created due to the differences and gaps between the cultures of the two people conversing. People should consider a lot of factors and variables which can be affected through the statements made.
The internet is a melting pot which attracts good and bad people from all over the world. A lot of people would use the internet to hurt and spread negative things about a person. People should also ignore these haters since commenting and reacting would only complicate the issue. There are many filtering software and programs which can block and prevent internet users from seeing a certain person. This is ideal for people who have been misinterpreted and labeled in the internet.