Around 1997, about 70% of the websites on the Internet were focused on pornographic material. There were no controls, no identification of those sites to the user. You could be visiting an innocent site and an embedded advertisement could trigger a series of pop-ups that would eventually crash your system.
Many people at the time considered, and implemented, severe restrictions on access to the Internet for our youth and adults. I took the opposite viewpoint. I created a website defining the different types of coffee I had intimate knowledge of, in part, due to my life abroad. I called this site Jay's Cafe'. It was hosted on GeoCities (if my memory serves me correctly) and was visited by many of my colleagues. They thought it was cool that I had my own website when such darkness surrounded the Internet.
My theory was this: It is impossible to control the Internet and it will become an integral part of our lives. You can either rage against the tide, or learn to deal with it. In dealing with it, I felt the best method was to publish material that was useful, pertinent and positive. You can't get rid of the porn, but you can give people something else to look at.
I began publishing information on the net whenever I can. This was before the popularity of MySpace, Facebook, and the like. I generally don't like publishing on a site that belongs to someone else. The questions of liability and ownership of data are too much for me. I am an ogre. I like complete control of my releases. However, the key is to publish. The war is to displace the negative.
Now, we are in 2017. The problem, as I see it, with the Internet is not pornographic sites (although there are many), but the innate negativity that we, the people, post constantly. Once again, the Internet has become a sinister place. However, unlike previously where the majority of the negative was published by unknown entities looking for a buck, the majority of the negativity is produced by you and I.
I challenge everyone, to publish positive and uplifting. If there is something negative you must say, do it with tact, class and with facts that have been verified. Then follow the post up with something positive. As a former teacher, we were taught that for every 1 negative, there should be 5 positive comments. It is a lofty goal to achieve. However, it is positive.
I used to look at the "religious posts" and cringe. Now, with all the garbage I see, I understand that the posters are doing exactly what I think we should be doing. They are posting positive. Their positive is different than mine. And, that is OK.
Everyone has good in them. I believe that they just need to find that good, that spark and let it shine. Write it down. Publish it on the Internet. If you have a managed site, awesome. If all you have is a Facebook account, release it there.
Let's bond together and make a pact that we post positive. Five to 1 is a lofty goal. But, we can, we must achieve it. If we do, the public shaming, the bullying, the cringe-worthy posts will be thrown into the corner and people will see good be the prominent topic on the Internet.
Thanks for reading,
Jay C. Theriot