The Internet—Don’t Blame the Medium

Once in a while debates tend to blame events on the internet. It may be convenient to blame the internet for riots and more but the convenience is worth nothing when it is just a smoke screen.

In general it is dangerous to blame any medium directly, yet everywhere this is very common. The danger lies in the fact that it is hardly the medium that is at fault here. Looking in a bigger perspective, we have to acknowledge that the problems in question existed before too.

Clearly, many of the problems being blamed on the internet were problems before the internet and will arguably be problems after the internet (should that happen). There is however no doubt that the internet is an accelerator in the same way that the printing press was back in the day.

It is crucial that we stop and ask ourselves though if a certain problem is just being highlighted or accelerated through a medium, or whether the medium is at fault. In the former case, focusing on the actual problem at hand is the only way a solution could ever be found.

Let us stop and think what we are blaming before find an easy scapegoat. Just because there is something to blame doesn’t mean it is right and if it turns out to be wrong (as blaming a medium almost certainly always will be) the costs (not just monetary) of repairing it will be much higher.