With the advent of modern technology, anyone with a computer can write or speak whatever is on their mind.
Anyone on any of the numerous social networking sites needs to glance at the numerous profile statuses that change every second to know what I am writing about. We call this, “freedom of speech”. It’s also constitutionally protected. In case you are unfamiliar with this freedom, the right of free speech to protects those who are prone to utter really crude and senseless remarks.
I grew up in a country with more than fifty different tribal languages. This meant that depending on what that particular group was, they obviously expressed themselves in ways that you hardly understood.
To this day, depending on the prevailing circumstances, the same groups have enjoyed their liberty to say almost whatever.
At one time, speech had a very specific purpose; to be the primary means of communication between two or more individuals. As such, it was critical to our survival.
Now it’s just something to occupy us until the next show comes on the television or probably till the next Premiership fixture.
Fortunately for the human race, we were able to construct language in order to freely converse among ourselves. The only other possible mode of communication would have been to simply read each other’s minds, which would have resulted in the immediate annihilation of humankind.
Imagine how long marriage would have lasted if you both knew what the other was thinking! “Till death do us part “may have been much quicker than we expected under those circumstances.
Immediately after they invented speech, someone had to invent tact. Tact is when you actually think before you open your mouth and say something really thoughtless!
As with any right, there are always those who abuse it. You can easily recognize them because they are usually the ones who are the first to scream that their rights have been violated.
Like Voltaire wrote, “I may not agree with what you say, but to your death I will defend your right to say it.” They do this just after they have violated someone else’s rights.
Some people ought to keep their mouth shut, but again remember it’s just not constitutional to tell them that.
Yes, free speech is important. People should be able to express their opinions. I also must say that you argue your point in a clear, logical manner.
There is, however, a fault in logic. It ignores people; and after all, it is people whom your “free speech” affects. Free speech means freedom to express what you think and how you feel.
It means you can argue if you disagree with something. However, as always, there must be a line. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to hurt innocent people.
They are those of us that hear something in the media and repeat it without questioning its validity. I think this is a much bigger problem in the media of today than it has been in a long time.
There are too many unchecked sources and too much instant gratification media outlets, and these sources water down the validity and consistency of the news.
People also have a very short memory because they are bombarded with news stories without back story. So they tend to just trust what they are told instead of questioning it because they don’t know where to start to question the news stories as they are written or told because the stories lack a history.
There are also a lot of people who abuse their freedom of speech and are quite hostile to thought. I think we sometimes demand freedom of speech as a compensation for freedom of thought which we seldom use.
Nyagapfizi Emmanuel is a Management Information Systems manager