Before the world wide web, when people wanted their writing to be read they had to pray and hope they would be published somewhere. When students turned in their extensive research paper at the end of the semester, their only audience was the professor grading it. The rare occasion of having your writing read by millions has changed dramatically with the increasing platforms and chances to express yourself.
Before the copious amounts of websites that allow anybody to make a post on, people needed actual well-written and thought out points to be seen anywhere. From the day when the New Yorker and The Atlantic would send aspiring writers rejection letters for their articles, to today where that same writer could be copying their article into any old website and have it seen by millions, sure is a drastic change of expectations for what people compose. You would think that with that sort of feasible audience, people would be more selective about what is permanently stored online. Unfortunately, too many websites have comment sections, forum posts and blogs such as these where a profound dissertation can turn into an obscene altercation.
This happens regularly on every sort of website. People use social media to casually chat and describe their daily happenings. Blogs can be used for a myriad of services including educational, scholarly and expressive work. Whatever happens to be written will still most likely be seen by a couple hundred people skimming through sites. Forums delegate specific topic conversations for the people interested and these debates or educational posts can last for days and months. An example of the availability for people to express themselves is something such as a YouTube comment section. Each video gives you the freedom to write your thoughts on it. With such run-of-the-mill videos going viral and obtaining hundreds of thousands of views, each person’s comments and thoughts are published and read by that exact number and more. News stories on news websites always have comment sections beneath them where people write their reactions and debate others already posted comments. Twitter is a series of personal blurbs and information sharing that isn’t censored. I don’t believe that personal opinions should be censored, but people should consider the vast audience who view everything you type onto your keyboard and hit ‘send’ with.
It seems to me that the more freedom we have to publish our thoughts, the quicker and less thought-provoking our opinions seem to be. With the convenience of typing and quickly broadcasting every idea that passes through us, we forget to edit our own writing. People rarely write for an audience of one anymore. While the internet works as a superb way of accessing writing we may never have before reached and an avenue to publish and express what we may never be able to send out , we should always consider the everlasting sharing between stories and what we hit ‘send’ on will live on through many people, links and time.