The value that free expression holds in our society is a huge one. It’s really a part of our everyday lives in so many ways that I feel we don’t really realize. Whether it’s as simple as commenting on a YouTube video or publicly stating a disagreement with authority like the government, it is one of the most important rights we have. When we consider how unfortunate some people’s situations are in other countries like North Korea, we are extremely lucky to have this freedom. Especially when you think about how we are allowed to voice our own opinions whether they are positive or negative towards people like the president, the police, or other positions of power which is definitely more censored in other countries.
I feel like overall freedom of expression is more of a public issue just due to first amendment. There is some personal value to it because of course it is our right, and so we have our own thoughts and opinions protected under free speech. However, that wouldn’t be possible without it being a publicly known matter and law. Of course, this isn’t just free speech that is being granted there is also freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly/protest, and of course the right to petition the government. This all tells me that it’s a much more public value because a lot of these would contain or require groups of people.
Freedom of expression contributes to our identity because it’s a large part of what makes us, us. Without this we’d be a censored version of ourselves and there’d be a lack of uniqueness in our identities. I feel as though freedom of expression has also paved the way and allowed for a more progressive society. Although there is still more work to do, we wouldn’t be this far without this freedom. It contributes to our personal identities by allowing people to be themselves in their authentic, true form. It then contributes to our public identity because all of these individuals collide to make up our current society.
Freedom of expression is 100% worth protecting. I think without it, we’d quickly realize how important it is in our daily lives and realize how much protection it provides us. With how technologically driven our society is and with things like social media I feel like that’d be the quickest realization for everyone. Imagine if your posts, comments, likes, texts, calls, or even Google searches were all monitored and censored, or even reported. It would give us all such an unsettling feeling almost as if our thoughts were being controlled and manipulated in order to fall in line with what those above us want us to think. It’s a scary thought considering that there are still places in the world who do not have this freedom and it’s something we really never think about in terms of how fortunate we truly are.