I was born in 1985, and the people of my generation are called, amongst other things, the Millenial or the Intenet Generation. I do feel because of this, my opinion on and about the censorship of the Internet is more important than that of any other generation. Now that I've grabbed your attention, let me explain.
Because I think the people of my generation represent the hope of all those before us, of this unlimited, uncontrolled stream of information that could be used infinitely. Instead of waiting for a local, franchised magazine to publish its latest interview of one of the Spice Girls, we could have them found on the Internet, printed and brought to school. Doing so earned you cool points. And doing too much of it earned you geek points. Well, we now know that being laughed at in school and being a geek, has turned out to be one of the best things that could've happened, in our generation.
We were also the generation that saw The Terminator 1 & 2, saw the advent of the mobile phone and felt the world getting closer. Where previously the world had united through the death of Mother Theresa, the marriage of Charles and Diana, the Vietnam War, let's admit, we all counted the clocks on Dec 31 1999 and anticipating a mass catastrophe. And when that didn't happen, kidded ourselves (let's admit) that we never believed it was going to happen anyways.
And when the Internet did come, into our homes we let it. Because we wanted to know if everything that we'd heard was true. It was possible to meet someone online, just had to be careful to not let them know anything about us. We didn't click on random pop ups that came because we'd heard that that might mess everything up. The computer was something more than flow charts. Comic Sans was the hottest font on it. We started counting the number of friends we had in different countries. We were starting to learn that it really was possible to look something up and find it. No need to return the book to the library, or spend hours browsing through for one question to be answered.
And as always, someone thought to capitalize on our curiousity. Suddenly there were internet companies, multiple pop up windows, smiley faces, networking sites, you tube, wikipedia and free porn. We Indians tuned in. We added a new profession to the holy trinity Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher (or kicked out the Teacher). We became geeks and damn were we proud.
Suddenly a lot was possible, A LOT. And in all honesty, that bumped up the cool points of the internet by about a million points. And speaking for my generation (or the population that echoes my statement), we like it that way. We want to be able to write, communicate, learn, bum, browse as we have been able to do so since the advent of this medium. We can't control or decide what the corporates do, but we can control and decide what the government does.
Yes we can watch shows for free. The latest. That has meant that we have stopped, in some cases, watching TV all together. Has that dropped the advertising revenues? Harder to tax?
Yes we do share music, pictures and so much more. The last I checked, sharing was an important part of human compassion. Except when no one's making money out of it right?
What about child pornography, peadophiles? Well, maybe you need to keep a better eye on what our children are doing online and offline eh? Gen Y survived didn't it?
We need to stick to laws of the country and ensure we don't trash the government. Well we're a democracy aren't we? Isn't the trashing of the government meant to be national past time, and seriously, we don't make up that shit... it's what you do that makes us do the talking in the first place, so quit whining and fix the issues.
And which ever way I think about it, the only reason that I can think that this has been so hotly debated is tied back to the one thing that we know we can never have enough of. Money. I guess ome one's waking up to the fact that they're not making us much money as they should be..even if what they are making is already 'a lot'. Frankly, we don't care, and I know that a lot of you will echo this when I say, we're just going to have to show them that we're against censorship as we know it right now.