Imagine if we didn’t have the internet anymore. For starters, you wouldn’t be reading this. Also, there would be no Facebook or Instagram to scroll endlessly. Twitter neither. Dang. But is this a horrendous prospect, or would it be a welcome relief, do you think? Like, have we been given a sort of poison chalice? The kind that was so sparkly and rad and full of promise, when we first clapped eyes on it, that we did not think this whole thing through?
And actually, how COULD we have thunk this internet stuff through?
I mean, who could have predicted that social media platforms and search engines would become technological superpowers, influencing elections and skewing culture and sneaking stuff in front of us that we never wanted to see? How could we anticipate “innovations” that were yet to come? Let’s not blame ourselves.
It’s not all bad, obviously.
Important voices are being amplified (erm, and less important ones too) thanks to the internet. People who may never have met are able to connect and buddy up or get loved-up through mutual interests and friends.
Previously hidden human rights violations are dragged onto the screens of millions (whether we do anything about them or not).
Lesson are learned. Classes are taken. Cakes are baked. Crafts are made. Songs are sung. Etc.
Thanks to the internet, we’re exposed to all manner of good things. And bad things too. Even boring things. Tis true.
But that said, where would we be, if the internet didn’t deliver the good, bad and boring to us?
Would it be … better?
Would we have to get off our bottoms (or break away from our standing desks) and seek out the things we love a little more passionately?
Or would we be missing the amazing tool that’s going to make everything way greater?
And how about the people we do get to see, should Google’s or social media’s algorithm elevate them and deign it so? Are they the people we really need to see or want to see? Or would we be better off popping our head over the back fence? Or fronting up to more in-real-life events to clap eyes on people and make the nicer ones our friends?
I know what many of you might be thinking. That we can strike a balance? That we can do all of these things? But can we? Truly? Huh?
I mean, do you think this kind of balance is like work-life balance? Alway a struggle, see-sawing back and forth and in the end just being… well… LIFE. (And a kind of overwhelming life at that.) I think it just might be.
And look, I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit freaked out by the way these tech superpowers have stalked many facets of our online life and mushed them all together to make a template of who we are as individuals – and as subcultures too.
Is this worth it, do you think?
Should we just go to the library or have chats in real life or find a new way of connecting that doesn’t involve this surveillance and cynical marketing?
Are the internetty powers-that-be actually beginning to render us conveniently and commercially passive, with the promise that we have everything at our fingertips?
Because our fingertips are just tap-tap-tapping and scrolling and clicking in search of the everything.
When really our bodies and brains should be moving towards more tangible passions and interests and people and places?
Are we just tapping away and hitting ‘like’ and hoping that we’ll find true connection/destiny some time soon, if we scroll far enough down the page?
What do you think, dear reader? What shall we do about this? How can we make this better for US? Let’s form a gang and think up some strategies. How can we subvert this monster for our own good, now that it’s gotten way out of hand?
Write back soon! Love to youse!
PS: Obviously WE don’t suck. You and me. And our faves. Nope.
PPS: I haven’t been blogging much because I am reading a lot and trying to do my stupid old taxes and it’s very hot here and I’m just working at being content in myself, without directing too much into the online world. Hope that makes sense!
Image Source: Life Magazine : G Parks