A few days ago I had some discussions online with an online friend who, like me, had been blogging for well over a decade. We both agreed that we self-censor a lot more nowadays compared with the early days of blogging. I’m very reluctant to promote political posts on Twitter, for example.
It might be that we’re both slightly older and wiser and more aware that we could tread on people’s toes with careless words. But I don’t think that’s the whole story; the growth of social media has made the net a more hostile place.
Sites like 4chan, Tumblr and parts of Reddit spawn toxic communities that don’t play nice with the rest of the net. It’s also it’s far easier nowadays to end up at the wrong end of a social media witch hunt if you say anything that someone with a substantial bully pulpit doesn’t like. I’ve had to remove posts in the recent past because the comments section turned toxic after a major figure linked to it.
This is sounding a bit like a grumpy “Kids, get off my lawn” post, I know. But I do think somewhere along the line, something good has been lost