It’s a seemingly normal December afternoon when I receive a text from my 16-year-old sister that reads “Say yes to net neutrality,” in our family group chat. First off, I was shocked that my younger sister even new about the recent stir of controversy around a rumored repeal of net neutrality. Second, I was terrified that this text to my ultra conservative Christian family would not go over well. Talking politics with southern republican parents often turns into slammed doors and the all too common “I’m not yelling, I’m just saying” spiel, but knowing the majority of the United States liked (and more importantly needed) net neutrality, I was expecting my parents to agree with the propaganda-like text. To my surprise, my father responded by saying “no [net neutrality is] bad!!!! Dad is a wise old owl.” I was infuriated and also confused by my dad’s unnecessary analogy. It turns out that he was simply confused about the meaning of net neutrality and once properly understanding the topic, we actually agreed that it is a crucial part of American life.
That afternoon the FCC repealed net neutrality, and everyone sat at home, scratched their heads in confusion, and went to Facebook to see what everyone else thought about it. I think that’s the problem with most of America. Like my dad, we are just confused about what it is and how the repeal will really affect our normal American lives. The night of December 14th was more muddy confusion than an outburst of chaos.
For most, net neutrality is as clear as mud. So, here’s the rundown: net neutrality is like a really good babysitter. Bare with me, net neutrality is basically the overseer of the internet that assures peace and harmony for all users of the World Wide Web. More specifically it prevents companies from speeding up or slowing down certain content based on financial and political bias. When your parents fire your amazing babysitter and there is no one there to keep balance over all of the children while the parents aren’t at home, all hell will break loose. Imagine having 323 million children without any rules and regulation. So, when the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality (ie. fired the babysitter) America was not only shocked and mad, but confused.
After the repeal of net neutrality, Google, Netflix, Twitter and many more large corporations quickly reassured it’s users that their companies would remain the same as if still under the Net Neutrality Laws. Ultimately what good is the repeal if no one is going to abide by it? For a country built of freedom and equality, we are taking many strides backwards.