The inspiration for this website comes from an auspicious place, often seen as a part of the Internet others would loathe to identify as muse. Yes, dear reader, this website was inspired by a repost.
Back in my heavy Internetting days, when I considered myself primarily a citizen of the Internet over America, or, you know, reality, I spent most of my free time on the much reviled site (and wonderfully designed mobile app) 9gag.
Something about it became embedded in my subconscious. It must have, or the thought of this website would have never occurred.
It seems to me that in the past, the way we asked questions wasn’t as important as the questions we asked. Yes, I know there are many, many quotes that cite wrong questions as endemic behind the population’s inability to learn. However, the advent of the Internet reflects that our phrasing is now more important than the validity of our questions, wrong or not.
Maybe you are a college grad on a mobile device in a hurry and you type something as innocuous as “How can u…” and Google assumes that you are likely to be engaging in some lascivious activity.
Maybe you are a low income middle school student who is struggling to find the words for a problem that is challenging you, and you hastily type in “How can u…” and Google thrusts images of sexually transmitted disease, body image, and failed relationships into your thoughts.
Maybe you aren’t. It doesn’t matter – you, whether actively or not, now have a barometer for the type of question you are asking, and in a way, are being insulted simply for beginning to ask.
Before you are even three words in, your own thoughts are being silently distorted. Such immediate feedback and social sanctioning through daily Internet use has created a passive effect that has never before been able to exist.
Should we all be held to the standard of asking questions, and asking correctly? How can one avoid bias in a culture where millions of other voices rush to finish our sentences before we have even formed a thought?
Questions like this and many others are what I wish to uncover through the dialogue proposed on my site.
If you like what you read, feel free to share. Basic Rules: Be civil. We are all people and deserve respect. That’s a hard and fast rule, by the way, it is not optional. Other than that, anything goes.