Be A Good Netizen with Tolerance

Aisyah safira
3 min readApr 5, 2020

Have you ever heard about religion tolerance? How about culture tolerance? What if we talk about social media tolerance? Why? Because social media is being our culture nowadays.

In several centuries, humans have experienced many cultural transformations. From culture of communicating using animals, giving letter via post mail, and now we are in digital era, by utilizing advanced technology called gadget, social media indirectly becomes our culture. Yes, our culture, because we were born and raise after the birth of internet. We are millennial generation, who have been enjoying the enchantment of technology and also the internet.

With average internet access 3 until 5 hours a day, 270 million Indians use Facebook, 120 million Americans use Instagram, 20% Australians check emails during leisure time, and 97% Indonesians use social media. Based on this fact, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Line, YouTube, and many other social media have been our lifestyle. Because social media is a two-way media communication for people in giving or getting information. So, it’s really important for some people in doing such a job, advertisement, and even learning. Netizen (as known as internet citizen) have freedom of expression to give their argument or their opinion. The problem is, many netizens are using social media for inappropriate things, such as posting contains pornography, violence, blasphemy, or replying to other’s comment using bad language. How easy is it to hurl anonymous insults on social media? As visualized by artist Javier Jean, it’s as easy as if a brawny catapult were flinging an egg. It’s very easy. This could be happened because they think social media is only virtual life, it have no rules, so netizen can express anything freely, including bad things.

Many blasphemies happened on social media. For example, on May 20 a drawing competition for the prophet of Islam was held with #drawmuhammadcontest. In Islam, drawing our prophet is forbidden. Apparently, this contest was held in Texas in 2015. And even worse, until now there are those who still take part in this contest. They upload it on social media, and make this thing like a joke. So what should we do then? What should Muslim do when they insulted by other religion? Revenge? No, it can worsen the problem. If that’s happen, social media could be dangerous media. It could be a war zone between netizen.

This, is the key point. To achieve a peaceful social media, we must do tolerance. Because with tolerance, we able to accept what other people say or do, even if you disagree with it. We able to accept differences, acknowledge the rights of others, and support cultural and religious differences. Same as tolerance in real life, tolerance in social media can be built by courtesy and psychology each individual. These two things could reflect thoughts, words, or deeds. Because of this, good courtesy and psychology will create good morals, like tolerance.

Every cultures and religions surely teach tolerance. Indonesian’s culture teaches us by principle “Bhineka Tunggal Ika” means together under differences. There is an aspect of tolerance between ethnic groups and nations. So do the religions, including Islam religion. In my holly book, God said “O you who have believed, let not people ridicule another people, perhaps they may be better than them. Nor let women ridicule another woman, perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another, and do not call each other by offensive nicknames”. It shows that tolerance must exist in each individual. If tolerance has inherent in human beings, we can do tolerance in social media as well as in the real life.

The solution is, be a good netizen with tolerance. Avoid things that can trigger anti-tolerance in social media. Avoid bad commenting, because digital footprint is relatively permanent, so don’t leave bad impression on your social media. Furthermore, make tolerance as a habit / culture that can be imitated by other netizen. Ultimately, the best thing is to keep social media as an aspiration and information media with tolerance between netizen.