This is my speech for the Oratorical Contest. Please help edit and revise it. The topic is Cybercommunication: Progress or Problem? and it has to be 4 to 5 minutes long.
Surprisingly often we hear stories about poor young girls killed by child molesters they met online thinking they were sweet funny girls who wanted to be their friends. Yes, this is a serious problem, but there are also the young children living in Missouri, with grandparents in Germany. With webcamming software, they can see each other every day. Without that, they would barely be able to see each other once a year. That's definite progress. So what is the answer to the question: is cybercommunication progress or a problem?
There is no definite answer to that question. There are parts that are definitely progress, and parts that are huge problems. There are scam sites dedicated to stealing your identity. There are other sites that don't keep your personal information as secure as it should be. It's also easier for children to be bullied online, because it's always easier to type something to someone than to say it to their face. Looking at this, everyone thinks, wow. Cybercommunication is definitely a big problem.
But think about this. The same tool hosts sites like Webkinz and Club Penguin. Sites that are safe and secure. They don't allow much contact, so it is difficult to give and receive personal information. There are also online dictionaries and encyclopedias. These can help with homework and projects. Free coupon sites, too. Parents love those. What I'm trying to prove here is that this is progress. So to write cybercommunication off as a big problem is unfair to the parts that shape our community and cultures for the better.
We have trouble seeing shades of grey sometimes. We just see black and white. We can't look at cybercommunication this way. There are good points of cybercommunication, and there are bad ones. And then there are also things that I like to fit in the category "in between". Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are just a few of the things that fit into this category. They can be good if used properly and carefully, but without the proper protection, they can be deadly. A Facebook account without privacy enabled is pretty dangerous, up there on the list next to being locked in a cage with hungry tigers. With protection, it's just a site where you can reconnect with that best friend you had in high school. It can do a lot of good used the right way.
Bill Gates once said, "The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow." It already has. We center our lives around it. Haven't you noticed that updating our Twitter has become routine? How our Facebook is practically an autobiography? It's cybercommunication at work. We use it every day to stay connected. It can be a good thing, but it can become a serious, deadly addiction.
Cybercommunication is not itself good or bad. A gun isn't responsible for killing; it's the person who pulls the trigger. Cybercommunication is used for good, and, unfortunately, for bad. There is no simple answer to the question: is cybercommunication progress or problem? There are problems, yes, but it is also progress. It has helped shape our community, our world; for better or for worse, it definitely has.