Express Yourself

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June 13, 2008

Website Gave Ominous Warning Of Tokyo Stabbings by Tomohiro Kato

The man that went on a stabbing spree in Tokyo Sunday gave a warning on the Internet. He posted messages about his intentions to kill someone on Extreme Exchange, Revised, a strange website. Seven people were murdered by Tomohiro Kato when he ran a truck into a crowd and got out of the car and ran into a crowd with a knife.

Kato, who is obviously not in good mental health posted the messages, he claims, in the hopes that someone would stop him. Unfortunately no one was able to do that. I guess that this is what I do not like about what the Internet and text messaging. Somewhere along the way instant messages, posting and text messages have replaced, for some people, real, human interaction. I do not understand this swift because the I just do not feel the warmth that human contact gives me when I get electronic words.

Why didn’t Kato call a friend or contact a counselor? Why, because he probably was using the Internet as his major means of communication. If he was posting messages on a site regularly, that was probably a major part of his social life. But really, is it socializing when you are pecking away at a keyboard? Not in my opinion. Nothing can take the place of having a real person to talk to. Hearing a voice and being able to read the inflections is a voice is the only way to true be able to communicate.

The Internet has become a place where some of societies fringe people can find other fringe people to concoct and discuss anti-social behaviors. Since they are behind a computer screen, any type of mayhem can be cooked up. You can be anyone that you want to be when the only connection to the person you are talking to is through a screen. Also, posting messages online is futile if you are looking for some type of intervention because there is a chance that no one was going to see your post for days, weeks, months, or even never.

What is becoming of our world? Are we heading further away from real, human experiences and closer to static, metallic interactions? I think we are. I can remember what it was like to write letters to lovers. The careful script of my handwriting, curved as close to perfection as possible. The elegant scented pages made out of some soft crushed wood. The effort that I took to make sure that the love came through my penmanship was just so much more than anything that I type on the computer. Kato and others out there have been sucked into this electronic age that tells us that computers are able to simulate certain events and interactions that were originally only possible with human contact. In my mind, when life has reached the point of no return, I know to pick up my journal or call a friend or counselor. I know that the Internet is a static void that could never help fight of feelings of doom. If I write it out by hand, in my journal, I can work it out in my own head. If I call a friend or counselor, they will either listen or help guide me towards a solution. No computer is going to be able to do either one of those things.

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