These days, I spend about 10% of my time doing stuff for basic survival (most of these involve a bolster, tissue paper and a pair of tweezers) and another 5% wondering whether Candy Crush can help mend a burnt-out spirit and re-instill my faith in life (sadly, the answer is no). Then I spend the rest of the 80% on the internet. (I lost the other 5% somewhere…Don’t know where it’s gone and don’t care. Mathematical precision is simply not my goal in life.)
Sounds a lot like your own lifestyle? Then you should be seriously worried. When I think about it, the most exciting things that happened to me in the past week were as follows:
1. some video on youtube
2. some video on dailymotion
3. going to lunch at 11:30am instead of at 12:00noon
4. Maria liked my status updates on facebook
5. some random stranger sending in a friend request. Do I smell a SECRET ADMIRER?!
When I look at all these things I’ve done, I get terribly disappointed. Out of all the interesting things in my life, 80% is related to the internet, while the remaining 20%, well let’s just say it has nothing to do with being a winner in life.
THE PROBLEM WITH THE INTERNET
The internet spoils everything. It’s just there to make reality seem over-rated. So here I am, dissecting the problem for you:
1) where’s the police?
In my opinion, the main issue is simply that there is no justice on the internet. There is no higher power out there acting as traffic wardens to control the massive, self-indulgent wave of public opinion that you are constantly exposed to. There is no editor sieving out the good from the bad. There is no right or wrong on the internet, which while encouraging the freedom of expression, also empties the mind. We need to realize again the value of what is right and what is wrong because it IS a big deal.
2) where’s the writer?
Since the boom of the internet, all writers have suddenly become bloggers. So now writing has more to do with how to take beautiful pictures of yourself and making cute dialogues for your pets (who doesn’t actually speak, people) and less to do with actual writing. All people write about are related to nothing but consumption, consumption and more consumption; nobody writes with a revolution in mind anymore. This is all quite sad to me. Next time you wanna read, go flip through a magazine with a real opinion to share.
3) where’s the love?
The internet takes the effort out of most things. We believe casual acquaintances on facebook are our real friends, and we mistake company for companionship. We reward efficiency over effort and all of a sudden, feelings and actual emotional reciprocation becomes optional in a relationship. C’mon people, effort DOES matter. People who go out of their way to find out more about you, to speak to you or be nice to you are NOT creeps. The internet (or those casual acquaintances on facebook) does not give a damn about you, but these people do.
4) where are you?
7 years ago, when dolly was first cloned, most of us were in awe but there was a significant majority who also thought of it as an atrocity. Now that animals can be cloned, does it mean that a human can too? What are the ramifications of playing God and denouncing sacred individuality? No, of course there was no way we would allow ourselves to be cloned willingly, we thought.
Back then, if you wanted to dress funky, you’d have to actually know someone with taste, or subscribe to some rag mag that knew a thing or two about style. When the internet was not as rampant, the closest most people could get to really cool music was via some Ipod commercial. Back then, discovering good music was about spending time with the correct groups of people or lingering in the more shady corners of the record store until you found something you actually liked. In those times, you’ve gotta be pretty far out there to be listening to the Knife, Royskopp or Mew.
Look at the streets now. Everyone is dressed in the same boyfriend jeans or cropped pants as featured on the sartorialist and everyone is listening to what pitchfork defines as “best music”. Nobody is different anymore. And we thought clones were futuristic stuff that only appear in science fiction novels.
5) where’s the music?
As a parting argument, I’d like to share with you the simple story of the mp3.
MP3 (MPEG Audio Layer 3) is a standard for compression that allows for much smaller files than an audio CD with little loss of audible quality. The smaller file size is achievable via a process that shaves off sounds and vibrations that were picked up by the microphone but not audible to the human ear. In other words, the mp3 takes away the unnecessary sounds.
This is exactly what is happening with us and the internet. The internet, makes things simple and takes out the unnecessary waiting time to do most things. But don’t you feel uncomfortable to have someone, or something else decide for you what is necessary and what is not? It is so dangerous to over-simplify things. We tend to shave away those things that are hard to understand, but it is exactly these that add a bit of mystery to our mundane lives and make them a little more worth living; while seeking for the answers, we attach meanings and significance to things that we do not comprehend.
I know many people love the internet and even more can’t live without it. I seriously do not enjoy being the lone middle finger in the midst of a standing ovation, however, it is about high time for us to reconsider our relationship with the world wide web. Next time you have a problem, stop looking through the internet for answers. Talk to a friend, read a self-help book or best, think for yourself.
(Just to prove to you that I am a woman of principles, I have deleted my instagram accounts, logged off from facebook and jailbroke into my whatsapp so that it receives messages only when I allow it to. I’m not setting myself up as a recluse, just looking forward to a life filled with actual human interaction. But then again, I am still HERE, editing the blog. So yeah, I am a woman of principles.)