Back Talk: Net neutrally generates debate

Internet should stay free

by Randi Jines

The Federal Communications Commission has been trying to do away with net neutrality and begin charging people to use the Internet.
Net neutrality is what keeps the Internet free, as in Twitter, Google, Facebook, and anything else you can name.
Every time I opened up an app, there would be a post about net neutrality, whether it be a meme or a number to text to keep net neutrality. So I decided to text the number one day because social media plays a big part in my life, and hopefully my future, as a journalist.
There are many reasons why net neutrality is around and still is.
The Internet plays a big role in society today. Many people have created jobs solely on being a social media influencer, as in Youtubers or Instagram models. People make their living creating content to post to the Internet. This would put many people out of jobs, because the audience would shrink. The only people viewing their content would be the people who could afford to pay to use these apps.
As a journalist hoping to work for Buzzfeed one day, the chance of Buzzfeed even being a successful platform anymore would be diminished. This would put many media companies, creators, models, influencers, celebrities, and others out of business. Not everyone can afford to pay to use the Internet.
As an American, I have the freedom of speech, religion, marriage, and to even own a gun. So having to pay to use the Internet that has been free since it was created seems absurd to me. It is suspicious that the government wants us to pay for the Internet once Donald Trump became president. With all of the buzz about President Trump and the endless memes and scandals, it makes sense that the government would try to find a way to make it difficult for people to hear about any of this. But as Americans, we pride ourselves on freedom. Making us pay for the Internet would be a step in the opposite direction.thumbs up
Also, the Internet plays a big part in education. In college, you have the student portal, which gives you access to all of your information, from your transcript to student activities. Now imagine paying a fee every time you wanted to access this. College is expensive. You are expected to pay for tuition, housing, books, access codes, food, and so much more. Many people can barely afford to pay for this. Adding on the cost to pay to use Google, your student portal, your email, the library database, is overwhelming. As a broke college student, if net neutrality is taken away, I do not think I will be able to continue with college, because it is expensive enough as it is.
The Internet has a bad reputation for many reasons, from cyber bullying to fake news. Many people believe that paying to use the Internet would get rid of these problems, but the Internet sheds light on many positive aspects too. Bullying will happen regardless, whether it is online or not. But the Internet has given people a platform to speak up about bullying and help the victims of bullying. For example, I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and I came across a tweet by a social media influencer encouraging his fans to refrain from self-harm. I read the comments, and many people were inspired and encouraged to stay clean. The Internet has been an outlet for many people and brings light to situations that otherwise wouldn’t be talked about.
Net Neutrality is important in keeping our rights as Americans. No one should have to pay for these things when it has been free since it was created.


Advantages could come from paying for Internet

by Tina Gonzalez

Everyone is going crazy about the idea of net neutrality and having to pay for the Internet.
But in some respects, net neutrality has some beneficial qualities. Of course, for corporations and business, it may not be all in their favor, but that is not why net neutrality should happen.
It is not a surprise that the social world we live in is completely different from even 15 years ago. And it hasn’t really changed for the better. Maybe it is just my old-fashion tendencies, but young adults, teens and even kids are so obsessed with the Internet and social media it has gotten to the point where it’s the first thing we look at in the morning and the last thing we see at night. I do use social media and the Internet, but not as much as many people use it.
The world has completely taken advantage of the Internet, using it for all the wrong reasons: acknowledging all the wrong people, not using it for educational purposes, and becoming absolutely obsessed with a world that most people hide behind.
If net neutrality happens, the Internet could potentially be faster. Only the people who truly need the Internet will pay for it. So, the people using it for pointless reasons such as to let the world know that he or she is at the movies will cease to be on the Internet.
Companies think they would not make money, but actually they could really benefit. A company could come up with buddle packages and things of that sort. For example, people onnn money airplanes are willing to pay big bucks for access to the Internet. Why? Because it is not directly accessible. We have gotten so use to having the Internet that when people don’t have it right then and there, they will do what is needed to have it. They could maybe take a moment to look up from their phones, computers, and tablets to realize the more important things.
Another thing to think about is that a lot of young children are on social media. Most of the time, the parents aren’t even aware, because it’s the normal thing to have, but it is not doing any good. Kids aren’t going outside. They end up hiding behind screens and avoiding face-to-face interaction, which does not help their social skills. If there was net neutrality, kids wouldn’t pay to have the Internet, so it would keep them off things that they shouldn’t be on.
For students and people who need the Internet, such as doctors or professors, it should be accessible at all times, provided by their employers. However, it has become an overwhelming obsession for most people.
People are upset about the idea of paying for the Internet, only because we have gotten too attached to having it. We have almost taken it for granted. Even though with free Internet news can travel faster, the Internet should be used at the right capacity.

Author: Plainsman Press Staff

The student newspaper of South Plains College.

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