To Speak or Not to Speak?

Social networking in this day and age is simply synonymous with hanging out with friends. It is in fact ironic, how you could be chatting with a friend online, but sitting alone in a dark room. Since the launch of apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, cyber bullying—the most common form of bullying among today’s youth—and its consequences have swept across the world. In a way, the new app Crowd Pilot is more ethical. Lauren McCarthy, developer of this app and MIT graduate, had a few specific goals in mind when she developed Crowd Pilot. The most important was to make users of the app question their actions, having them ask themselves whether what they were doing or saying is right or wrong? I find that the most fascinating aspect of Crowd Pilot is that it should make us think twice about what we are saying, the tone we are saying it in, and who could be listening. For example, if you are talking about someone in a negative way and they walk to you mid conversation, out of respect and morals, you are likely to change the subject. But over the phone, you just assume that only person you are talking to, whom you trust, is listening. With the invention of Crowd Pilot, this isn’t necessarily true, since anyone could be listening to your conversations. While in a way, since people should become more aware and careful in regards to who might be listening to their phone conversations, this app is a great way to end cyber bullying.

On the other hand, this app could spiral a negative effect and just increase rate of cyber bullying, if people ignore the fact that others could be listening to their conversations. Apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have passwords, allowing only you and the person you are privately conversing with over messaging to see what you are talking about. Another change that Crowd Pilot could cause might be the effect that tone as on conversations. If you are negatively talking about someone over an instant messaging system or text, they wouldn’t necessarily be able to deduce the tone in which you are talking. However, if they overheard a phone conversation and heard that you were talking with an acerbic tone, they would be further offended. Overall, I feel that if/when Crowd Pilot becomes more popular, if could either have a positive effect on cyber bullying and ethics and general, or a deleterious one.

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One thought on “To Speak or Not to Speak?

  1. Though I like the argument you make, I don’t really agree with it. I personally do not think an application that allows you to ask strangers for advice is more ethical than just chatting with a friend online. I don’t see a difference in thinking twice about asking something on Crowd Pilot versus thinking twice about asking or saying something to a friend on a program like Facebook Messenger. You should think twice always before saying something regardless of the medium you are using to say it. Your points about cyber bullying make a lot of sense but i still believe that if someone is being bullied on Facebook, twitter, or instagram they could just as well be bullied on an application like Crowd Pilot and possibly in an even harsher way due to the “open to everyone” portion of the program.

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