On 1st April NPR launched a prank online and posted an article with the title "Why Doesn't America Read Anymore?". The response just confirmed their views of how netizens behave nowadays – we just love to comment even before finish reading the entire article. It is purely 'commenting for comment's sake'. And all these? Are being blanketed under the noble notion of 'Freedom of Speech'.
I've felt very strongly about this because recently, someone had continuously commented on my FB profile – saying that I'm naive, having a third world mentality, an ostrich … just because I have a very different opinion from him about our own country, how our government runs the country. In the end, I resolved it by posting a goodwill phrase on his wall, which he had obviously set to 'private' after he launched numerous 'attacks' onto my FB wall, and he has never replied ever since.
Anyway, I thought this is the end of it until a week later I received a friend's request from a teen. Normally what I do is to run a quick background check (at least the account is not created recently) then I will accept the request. What surprised me was, this teen went and posted a comment in favour of the guy at our previous FB wall 'conversation'. To me, that supporting comment just sounded too mature for a 13 year old. So I private messaged the kid, and asked him whether he added me just so that he can post that comment. No reply.
I think nowadays we are blinded by the word 'freedom'. Free to speak your mind, free to use provocative language, free to criticise the person right in his face, free to be the keyboard warrior and type away as we like. Mind you, the notion of "Freedom of Speech" is initially referring to "the political right to communicate one's opinions and ideas using one's body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them" (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_speech).
What if your audience is not willing to accept your 'speech'? Apparently, you have no choice but to just keep your opinion, no matter how great it is, to yourself. Even if you are liberated and free to say or comment or criticise to your heart's content, all these are still confined to the ammedments of law. Firstly, the limit is the use of words. Then, there is the concern of conflicting interests. And finally, time, place and manner of speech. In other words, appropriacy.
I wish our teens nowadays could just be more critical in what they read, what they think and what they say. Don't just blindly join the the crowd and 'fight' for something you are not even sure of. I say this because of so much negative voices about our country, our government. I personally hope that recent case of the missing MH370 could serve as an eye opener. You just don't have to criticise your own country or government because 'you care, and you want the change for better'. Outsiders can do more damage and even before you can bat your eye lashes.
I particularly can't take it especially when people 'fighting' for their 'race'. They have to 'fight' to have their own education system, because that is their root, their culture. Comparison has been done between our country with the neighbouring countries. They take pride in it, because they manage to 'sustain' their culture, their tradition.
Here, let's take a step back and ponder on this. If your government or country is really as useless and corrupted as you think, why is it that you can still win this 'fight'? From the start, you have already disregarded yourself as a citizen of this country by saying that your root is in an ancient world that now only regards your as an 'oversea Chinese'. So you will continue to despise the National Language, because it is another race's language. Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you have done for your country.
All the excuses of 'I love my country, but the government is bringing it down' are just plain bull. If you love your country so much, you don't criticise or wash dirty linens in public. I won't do that on FB. And if it is really in a bad shape, you should be obliged to change it. You have to be part of it to change it.
If everyone continues to think of just ranting what they want, but very little actions have been done, I just don't think the change will come. You can change the government but I don't think it will help.
Think, what you have to say.
Think, why do you have to say.
Think, what makes you say.