If you happen to be a misfit or someone who is bullied, alienated or fighting a battle alone, it is hard to keep going. No matter how strong you are, your environment affects you, drains you and tempts you to be inauthentic and fit into the world. But when you know that there are people around the world who think like you or who are passionate about nerdy things like you, you suddenly feel empowered. Despite its drawbacks, the internet gives you hope. You can find your own tribe.
Art influences culture in a big way. Most people are influenced by mainstream cinema, television, education and media. Unfortunately, mainstream films or TV shows or education have to cater to a large group of people and hence, they stick to few tried and tested formulas which is acceptable for the majority. This leaves no places for the nerds or anybody who doesn’t fit into the stereotypes. This is where internet succeeds. No matter how niche your interests are, you most probably will find someone who likes the same thing.
In mainstream culture, there is hierarchy. The media tells you what is right and you have to accept it because it is television or the newspaper…which are supposed to as holy as the Bible. But when you enter the internet, everybody is kind of equal. I mean, you won’t be allowed to have 2000 characters in a tweet just because you are a celebrity. In a way, internet makes you intelligent, because you can think about what YOU feel. YOU can write your own review of a film and even if it’s not insightful, you atleast thought about what YOU feel..which is revolutionary. You can become a more liberal person because you are exposed to a wide range of ideas and opinions. Your mind is not limited to the textbooks.
Blogs and other forms of written communication on the internet are also revolutionary because writing always involves more thinking…unlike verbal communication where you tend to react more quickly (I know…I know..trolls don’t think much).
At the end of the day, the internet is neutral. It’s people who misuse it (or use it wisely). The internet doesn’t have any magical powers to transform mean people. But it does have the power to connect you to those who are like you.