Don't confuse me with the facts.

While working on this column I made a presentation to a group of elementary school teachers on the topic of "internet ethics". The first (and to a certain extent, even the only) point that I tried to raise was that ethics are ethics, regardless of the framework in which they find expression. I was, however, prepared to explain and discuss how our online presence compels us to deal with certain ethical questions that perhaps we might not have encountered, or have felt as strongly about, in more "traditional" settings. To my great surprise, I was almost unable to develop a discussion along these lines because the people with whom I was meeting seemed to think that any internet usage was undesirable. Among other claims, I was told that it brings about a decline in "real' human contact, and thus we shouldn't encourage its use at all. I admit, I was floored. Had the people making this claim been reading Doris Lessing, or listening to Elton John, or were they simply unaware of how "real" much of today's internet contact is?

Go to: The internet and some of its discontents.