Very thoughtful and ever so true Dave. Thanks for this summary of my recent thoughts but put so much more eloquently.
I try to take an optimistic view of the world. It’s a choice that I make every day. What we do need is critical thinking. It’s critical thinking that I’m choosing to pursue when I consume content online, but my response (which is fully my own choice to make) is optimism. I believe in humans. I believe humans can make good choices and build a pro-social internet. Will that include all humans? Maybe not. Nobody can control the actions of others. I can only control my own actions. So it’s up to every individual to make their own choices. There’s never going to be a perfect world, but I believe in progress and working toward something better. If someone chooses to think this is naive, let them, that’s their choice. I can only do what I can do.
Knowing this, we all have the capacity to build a pro-social internet and that personal capacity can’t be taken away. If we use this personal capacity for good, for living our values and for teaching others about thinking critically, it’s the best we can do.
As a parent to two young daughters, I feel it is my responsibility to teach them critical thinking when it comes to using the internet. As generations now have no choice but to live alongside and with the internet, it becomes the duty of parents, educators and society to help our kids figure this landscape out (even if we are still figuring it out ourselves).
When we reach the teen years in our household, I’ll continue to evaluate this thinking. The internet will be continuously evolving to that point and we need to continuously evolve with it.