The Wrecknology Boom
umair haque

After reading a bunch of your essays, I’m realizing that you have a serious lack of nuance in your writing — everything is either “good” or “bad” in your mind.

a hypothetical website called Gloobio … Gloobio misidentified the perpetrators in a recent terrorist attack,

You mean Reddit — just say it, OK?

A 14 year old hanging out there should be reading a book or five, making friends, learing a sport, discovering how to make sense of the world. A 24 year old should be on a date, getting another degree, working on their careers. A 34 year old should be enjoying time with their kids, trying to have them, developing themselves.

Your view of the world seems shaped by 1950s sitcoms, and you use the word “should be” a great deal without explaining who sets the “should”. Statistically, most 14-year-olds throughout history and very many today in the world are in fact just entering the workforce; most 24-year-olds have already had their kids.

Internet addiction is a real issue; but Reddit, even Facebook, are complex things which have features that are good, bad or even just interesting. Facebook is obviously intended to be a time suck and induce obsessive behavior — it’s also a great way to keep in touch with friends and family around the world. Reddit allows misogyny and a manic hive mind — it’s also a fantastic took for learning and for getting help on technology questions, languages, or other more obscure fields.

And to end with one more wrongness:

True freedom isn’t just “doing whatever you want” […] True freedom is the capacity, and then, the ability to make choices that improve your quality of life: to reach, and exceed, your potential.

So in your monochromatic world, “true freedom” isn’t my right to do what I want (or more accurately, what I will); it’s my ability to make what you think are the right choices.

I think you’ll find that very few people would agree that freedom is the ability to make “right” choices. If we are not able to make our own mistakes — or do things that other people perceive as mistake — then we are not free.

Like what you read? Give Tom Ritchford a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.