I’m aware that this is a subject that I’ve addressed several times in the past, but recent events in my life have made it a far more important subject for me to address than ever. It is generally accepted in British society that there are some things that you say and don’t say on the web. That logic is what most people use to convince themselves that they don’t have to take responsibility for themselves.
The Internet gives us the power to express ourselves in ways that would be inconceivable in the real world. More importantly, it provides a necessary escape from the tepid tribulations of the real world. Take it away, and we will be trapped in a narrow world that, for most of us, will feel increasingly more like a tiny cubicle. For me, this is the true importance of free expression, especially on the Internet. Feeling free is like feeling that there’s a whole patch of land around you, because you can do anything without restrictions, at least that’s how it should be.
That’s why I personally hate having to be careful of what I write. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, and sometimes it’s down to common sense, but all other times, when I feel like I have to be careful about what I write, then it means that what I’d end up writing wouldn’t come from the heart. What makes being able to express oneself so great is that when you are, you’re releasing something from the heart. Suppressing free expression, therefore, becomes one of the greatest of all crimes.
Even sadder is the fact that we take it all for granted. Many of us have no idea how important free expression is, and the result is that the Internet is populated by those with no idea of what they’re saying or even thinking, and this leads to all sorts of trouble, for which everyone else ends up suffering. That is why I oppose censoring freedom of expression, online and offline. Censorship of any kind not only beggars logic, but it also denies our responsibility for what we say. In a sense, we’d be no different from toddlers, and frankly, I don’t relish the thought of living like that for the rest of my life.