We’re instinctive sharers. We’re natural traders. We achieve collectively. We call our cites ‘hives of activity’ because of the myriad individual working lives that interact there. We may go and watch movies that feature larger than life heroes, but the real world isn’t going to be saved by Superman but by everyman (and everywoman).
The internet is humanity, digitised. It has already changed our lives and work in a way that would have been unimaginable a generation back. It’s a change as big as the industrial revolution, and it’s still growing. More than 3.2 billion people now use the internet worldwide.
So we’re all affected when some use the anonymity of the internet to spread hate, or lies, or threaten others whose only crime is to think differently to them. If the ideal internet is a thriving virtual marketplace of goods and ideas where all may roam in peace, parts of it now resemble some dystopian Blade Runner-style dark alley, where you can get beaten up by a troll or mugged by a cybercriminal.
We need to fix this, before fake truths drown out the real and before debate becomes an entrenched war of verbal violence and intolerance. And we can. We’re humans, and fixing things is what we do. We can’t rely on Zuckerberg or Bezos to sort this. We need to be the change we want to see. Starting with one simple thing – cutting the other guy a bit of slack, instead of calling him an idiot from behind the cover of a digital identity.
Can we be a bit nicer in 2018? It’s worth a try. And right now, it’s a lot more appealing than a 5k run.