They talk about freedom of speech, they talk about freedom of expression, freedom of thought. “What is this freedom?” some ask and others answer, “ it is the freedom to be our true selves and the freedom to share this self of ours with those around us, without ever fearing unacceptable and disrespect.” A platform which truly accepts and cherishes the thoughts and ideas of every individual is free enough to be called a stage where freedom of speech exists. In today’s world where social media has become a dominant force acting as an influential platform for the exchange of thoughts and visions on various different themes of discussions around the globe, the extent to which such ideas can be shared freely is what has been questioned often. Since social media came out as an expression to speak freely and share the contradicting perspectives of people in a healthy way where people could share their thoughts, feelings and ideas without being judged on what they believed in. Therefore it has always been debated that whether social media has helped encourage freedom of speech and whether there are any limitations to this freedom or not.
Freedom of speech is the freedom to express your thoughts, your visions, your ideas and whatever you hold there inside the universe of your own being with the universe outside, boldly and confidently without ever fearing judgement. However there have been numerous issues where social media debates have ended up becoming real life battles, where people have to face negative and abusive responses on sharing their stance on a controversial issue by those opposing their ideas. One of the reasons is that people don’t have the patience to listen to a contradicting statement to their own beliefs. An example of a controversial theme being religion where religious and secular fanatics and extremists end up debates using abusive language and sometimes threatening people with their lives. This happens because people fail to realize that their freedom of speech cannot overlap that of others.
Almost all the famous social media sites keep a check on the content being shared and in several cases have banned certain people and pages since sharing such controversial topics can always end up endangering people’s lives as has been seen in various cases before. Many argue that such restrictions breach a person’s right to speak freely and experience complete freedom of expression. However if complete freedom is allowed then one person’s freedom might threaten that of another.
Freedom of speech has its own worth in the lives of every individual and must go hand in hand with the ability to hear others with patience and acceptance. Keeping social media in mind the question that must be asked that I believe should not be whether freedom of speech is enjoyed by all or not but it should be questioned that how far do we go in accepting difference of opinion and whether we find the courage to accept others and respect their work and ideas the way we want others to respect ours.