Bastions of Thoughtfulness

I’m glad websites like this one still exist. I’m even more glad communities like this still exist.

The best and worst thing about the Internet is that it is the reservoir of nearly all human communication. You can find the answer to almost any question with a quick trip to Google. You can find an illustration, if not a demonstration, of how to make or use almost anything, from Photoshop to quilting to making methamphetamine. You can also find the most thoughtless and worthless trash you have ever seen or read in your life.

I am not blowing off goofy videos, funny pictures, memes, or videos of people playing video games with that statement. Far from it; a quick look at any of my social media accounts would tell you otherwise. What I am referring to is the comments, articles, discussions, forums, and such wherein people from all walks of life gather to put each other down and share their opinions without any desire to listen to each other, let alone actually consider the reasoning behind the opinion of another. The flame wars, the spiteful commentary, the bullheaded ossification of thought. That stuff.

It’s a real breath of fresh air to see people on the Internet who are thoughtful. People who think. People who care what effect their communication might have on others. It’s hard to find corners of the Web where thoughtfulness and empathy still remain reasonably intact, but it’s far from impossible. I’ve found many people on Twitter who still use the site for something worthwhile, and because of them my feed is largely satisfying and relevant to me, which is more than most people I know have said about their experience on Twitter. It’s been really nice to see people who have something useful, truly amusing, informative, or musical to share. It’s amazingly refreshing considering much of the drivel I’ve run into elsewhere.

I’m not the first to point this out, but many a time this has to do with the age of a particular platform or website. Often, in the beginning, people use the site for what is expected, the community is thriving and amicable, and everything runs as expected. After a time, however, for whatever reason, be it human nature, an inciting event, or the second law of thermodynamics, the whole community experience devolves into a cesspool of derision, trashtalk, and usage of the platform in ways for which it was never intended.

It may be inevitable that Medium goes the same way as many before it. It is specifically intended for sharing personal thoughts and opinions, after all; its demise may be quicker than most. I truly hope not, but only time will tell.

I love what’s going on here right now, though. I’m making the most of this refreshing oasis before the inevitable firestorm arrives.

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