At one point in life, every human being has dreamt of fame. People have had fantasies of red carpets, winning awards, and being on the cover page of worlds most prestigious and recognized magazines, just to name a few aspirations. Today, news, events, videos, and pictures run in an unending cycle that is augmented and supplemented by the elaborate social networks and media. As a result, what one does or post online can lead to an instant overnight fame whose force, if not checked, may be destructive to an individuals life.
Jessica Bennett views Internet fame as a source of embarrassment, stress, and depression. In her adeptly crafted article, The Flip Side of Internet Fame, the negative consequences of Internet fame such as harassment and stress are well depicted. The author thoroughly explores the issue and strives to inform the social media users about the solemnity of an instant, unplanned Internet fame. The author describes real-life scenarios of individuals who have suffered public humiliation and social desecration due to Internet fame. Throughout the article, Bennett convincingly articulates her ideas and addresses her audiences ethos and pathos appeal; employing credible examples while stressing on the discomfiture and psychological torture that the affected individuals endure. For instance, the writer says But in Razas case it became a source of public shame and embarrassment, precisely what every kid fears the most (Bennett par. 1). Remarkably, Bennett accuses Internet fame of being a source of stress and trauma among children. This can be deduced from the excerpt, ...The family of the Star Wars Kid, spent time in therapy as a result of this ordeal (Bennet par. 8).
Although the author accepts that social stigma has been historically used as a method of deterring uncouth social behaviors, she agrees with the notion brought forward by ethicist Jim Cohen that Internet is a loose cannon. To illustrate this concept, the author points out that there are few restrictions and monitoring that is conducted by the relevant authorities to determine the content that features on social networks. Moreover, she asserts that individuals can choose to remain anonymous of the things they say or post online, an aspect that encourages people to post words they would not utter in one-on-one conversations. In the article she writes, Online there are few checks and hardly any monitoring. Moreover, studies show that the anonymity of the net encourages people to say things they normally wouldnt (Bennett par. 4). Finally, Bennett claims that the existing laws are very lenient and broad therefore making it difficult for court to punish individuals responsible for propagating negative Internet fame against the will of others (Bennett par. 5).
From her perspective, Bennett illustrates that there is uncontrolled discretion on Internet usage since individuals can post anything they want and suffer no repercussions. So, then, whats to stop a person from posting whatever he wants about you if he can do so anonymously and suffer no repercussions? (Bennett par. 6) The aspect of anonymity is especially uncontrivable in colleges and other social places since individuals share the same IP addresses by connecting to this unrestricted public Wi-Fi hotspots. Finally, the author asserts that pursuing a legal action following a negative Internet fame mostly increases the publicity of the event, which further affects the victim (Bennett par. 7).
To sum up, unlike decades ago, the Internet has evolved into a valuable medium that offers individuals opportunity to rocket their notoriety into the stratosphere in a fraction of a second. Nevertheless, the Internet can be negatively used as a tool of increasing stress, depression, and misery in humans life. To curb these effects, people should develop a sense of responsibility when using the Internet. On the other hand, the government should adopt the necessary legal policies to facilitate prosecution of Internet-based bullies.
Bennett, J. (2010, March 13). The Dark Side of Web Fame. Retrieved December 08, 2017, from http://www.newsweek.com/dark-side-web-fame-93505
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