Keep my internet free

By BenitaZepeda

Almost as quickly as the social networking obsession started, so did conflicting opinions about displaying one’s life for all to see in sometimes the most self absorbed fashions.

Major corporations have cultivated controversy with hopes to turn our Internet freedoms into a privatized, censored utility and the Federal Communications Commission is considering it. But what does that mean for us, our culture and, ultimately, the checks and balances of our government and corporations?

For an entire world that has become dependent on the Internet, how abruptly would the most narcissistic of lives dissolve if we didn’t have the freedom to post comments, pictures and “like” trivial status updates.

Or on the contrary, what would happen to all the budding artists, compulsive bloggers and small, flourishing businesses trying to make an impact on our world?

Privatizing the Internet places different services we have access to, such as blogging, news and social networking websites, in the hands of different major corporations. For instance, consumers typically don’t have many options to choose from. Additionally, those same companies ultimately decide what people have access to, or even have in-house commercials to cater to their business needs.

Just as each day progresses, so does technology, and today we find our society at the height of Internet communications, moving at a highly rapid pace. This is where “net-neutrality” comes into play. This term is ultimately a compromise urging the government to force companies to allow all Internet traffic to operate evenly. This means if a major Internet provider, such as AT&T or Comcast Corp., privatizes its services, certain websites would function quickly and accurately, while some would not.

Think of it as a personal agenda for these corporations. They can make their own websites run quickly, but cancel your favorite blog about government conspiracies. President Barack Obama even insists “net-neutrality” policies should be put into place.

With the number of people making a name for themselves via the Internet, it’s unthinkable how this would affect so many different people I have met in my life. Because

Columbia is such a creative community, many individuals here face the risk of not being able to get their music, words or ideas out into the world.

Individuals have a right to information and free speech in any forum. If companies get their tight hold on the Internet, the way we function as a digital society could potentially be over. It also isn’t fair if certain websites and information were offered to people that would, say, pay for “premium services.”

We rely so heavily on this non-tangible e-community, we would honestly not know how to function, therefore creating a disruption in many people’s lives faster than a click of a mouse.