Teens Driving Improved Civility on the Internet

Microsoft provides a link for me to receive articles from its media relations department. There are probably a half-dozen a day that are almost all technology-driven, of course.

This headline earlier in the week grabbed my attention:

New Microsoft data shows improved civility online, driven by teens

Feb 8, 2021   |   Jacqueline Beauchere – Global Digital Safety Advocate

I certainly was surprised, but also pleased, by the research that supported the headline. This research was from last year. I’m not sure how much increased civility I witnessed. But then, I help myself. Following my own advice of watching what I fill my mind with, I blocked anyone on Facebook or Twitter who sends more than one hate-filled message. I don’t visit sites for that. My mental health has improved despite being in a new community during the pandemic such that I know almost no one.

The article continues:

The global Microsoft Digital Civility Index (DCI) improved in 2020, bouncing back from its lowest reading in four years, even as Covid-19 upended the world. A feeling of solidarity during the pandemic among people in some regions, as well as responsible online interactions by teenagers in particular, helped drive the index’s three-point recovery. We are releasing these findings in conjunction with international Safer Internet Day to shine a light on the need for safer, healthier and more respectful online interactions among all people.

I am optimistic about the younger generations. To the point of disappointment that our presidential election contested a Boomer (certainly exhibiting many of the negatives of my generation) and someone of the generation before the Boomers. But I see hope with some younger people of both sides.

As bad as things seem, there are lights shining across the globe, if we but recognize them. And help guide them out of the land of “fear and loathing” toward a brighter future.

It’s just as too many people seem to miss the point of the Revelation of St. John. In the battle between the power of God (exemplified by, well, God) and the power of evil (exemplified by Rome), speaking for the people of God, “We win!” And if we look, we can see signs of that brighter future peeking out. I’m optimistic about the young people coming along.

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