Civility on the Internet
The internet offers anonymity, and anonymity changes the way in which we present ourselves. Many individuals, acting behind the veil of a screen, say things and do things that they would otherwise not do in a face-to-face environment. This has led to an online phenomenon known as “trolling,” wherein individuals deliberately act to incite anger or resentment. Add to this the ways in which online discussions can get heated very quickly, and it is clear that civility is becoming a lost art.
You will be writing a five-paragraph essay in which you explain the nature of civility, why it is important in an online setting, and what can be done to recover civility in the context of news media and cyberculture.
1.Your first paragraph should contain a definition of civility and an explanation of what it means to be civil.
2.Your second paragraph should contain an explanation of what it means to be civil in an online setting. Why do we need civility online? Why do you think the internet tends to foster incivility?
3.Your third paragraph should contain a discussion of what can be done to recover civility. How can we promote civility online? What are some ways in which we avoid heated discussions and debates?
4.Your fourth paragraph should apply what you have said about civility to a specific contentious issue in today’s culture (e.g. healthcare, gun control, capital punishment, abortion, war, economic policy). What does it mean to have a civil discussion about said issue? How can being civil advance our understanding of this issue?
5.Your final paragraph will summarize what you have said and make concluding remarks about civility going forward. What advice would you give to internet users about developing and maintaining a sense of civility in the way they approach online interactions?