What is Freedom of Speech? It is the right to express one’s ideas and opinions freely but without causing harm to others or giving false statements. It is not the freedom to say anything to anyone anywhere, but rather a prohibition to keep the world from denying us the right to express ourselves. We have the right to speak our mind and heart and having this right allows us to speak truth to power. But as it is said ‘With great power comes great responsibility”, and we should be quite careful when it comes to using the power of free speech.
Although most people in modern society emphasize freedom of speech, there’re still a lot of serious problems caused by the misuse of this freedom.
Freedom of speech can be quite harmful as even a word can greatly inflict many people. The advent of the internet and smart phones has given the ease of access and the convenience of reaching out to the whole world with a single tap or click. People leave various kinds of negative messages on the Internet, and some are even anonymous. They don’t consider insulting words immoral. Comments could be aiming at a particular person or group, and at times for no reason at all. This phenomenon is called, “Cyberbullying” and it may lead to the victims’ permanent psychological harm.
Merely by stating our point of views we may be exposing a massive number of people to dangerous and exceptionally wrong ideas regarding politics, religion, race, gender etc. Recently there have been incidents such as Qandeel Baloch’s honor killing and Mashal Khan’s murder which were mostly prompted by people. Thus we should think twice before expressing ourselves out in the public and censor our thoughts. By censoring I do not mean that we shouldn’t express our opinions at all. I believe one should definitely convey his/her point across, but sensibly enough by keeping in mind how it could be perceived and how it could influence and affect others. If its impact is good then great but if it’s negative then one should avoid it. As it is said “the pen is mightier than the sword”, words can literally make a difference. So they should be used wisely and to make a good change.
To sum up, in spite of freedom of speech, we still have to strike a balance between what is right and wrong when it comes to freedom. We not only need to be concerned about others’ feelings, but also need to treasure this freedom and use it well.