This post is partially inspired by my dear blogger friend, Allen, over at The Midnight Goose. These are thoughts I’ve had for a long time, and a distantly recent post of his inspired me to finally write them down.
To reiterate what Allen said, I hate social media. I hate it with a fiery passion. I don’t understand it. I don’t know what I need it for as far as personal means go, and I don’t know how to properly utilize it for professional/promotional means. I hate it so much that I’m prone to bouts of rage towards it which result in me deleting the bulk of my posts.
If you’ve followed my blog for more than a year or so, you already know that’s something I don’t limit to my social media. This place is constantly in danger of getting barren.
See, I have a love/hate relationship with the internet in general.
I acknowledge that the internet, as a place and not a thing, is necessary to do… basically anything in today’s society. Particularly if you’re a creative-type who would like to earn any kind of decent living from your creative endeavors. Even the most reclusive authors and artists have Facebook and Twitter pages for promotion.
I also think that the internet is ruining the world. Or, at least the way we function in it.
Here’s the thing: The internet has become a culture unto itself. As of December 2017, more than half the world has internet access. Over 4.1 billion people belong to the culture of the internet. For scope, the culture of Christianity (still the world’s most popular religion) boasts about 2.2 billion on the high estimate.
On the surface, that seems amazing, doesn’t it? All those people, connected and interacting and learning from each other!
Except, I truly believe people are not meant to know everything.
In a day, I can get news about atrocities not only locally, but from all over the world! I remember seeing a webcomic or reading an article or something a couple years ago that can be summed up as such: people used to get 1-2 pieces of bad news every day, but now we’re getting 5+ pieces of bad news every day. That’s a huge increase in bad news, but we’re still using the same old means to try to process and deal with it.
But, the inevitable depression that comes with being bombarded by bad news isn’t the worst part of it; oh, no.
The worst part of it is that, if you are not outraged and actively expressing said outrage, you’re the problem. If you’re overwhelmed/depressed/anxious/tired/dealing with your own personal shit, and you don’t post about the latest outrage (beamed directly to your screen every 2.4 seconds), you’re not just lazy and apathetic; you’re actively part of the problem.
I hate the phrase “silence is violence,” because it’s bullshit. Don’t tell me my silence is violence; my silence is self-preservation, survival, keeping the knife in my hand away from my wrists. I would love to do nothing but write scathing diatribes about how awful the latest worldwide nightmare is, but I’m constantly on the edge of suicide and excuse me but I need a minute to remember life is still worth living.
This kind of all-or-nothing approach to socio-political opinion exists only on the internet. When I walk down the street, I don’t have people constantly in my face, “Hey, why aren’t you talking about this right now? Why haven’t you mentioned anything about that? Do you just not care? Or maybe you’re actually secretly happy about it because deep down you’re racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic.”
But on the internet, people aren’t at risk of getting stabbed when they accost random people they’ve never actually met, so they can make all the accusations they want. And if it stayed on the internet, even that wouldn’t bother me, so much.
It just never stays on the internet. Accusations and slander hurled on the internet has real-world consequences. People lose their jobs constantly over things they said on the internet, over things maybe taken out of context or misunderstood (or even outright false) but the public outcry is already so bad action has to be taken, anyway. People get doxed, stalked, assaulted because of things they were accused of doing/saying on the internet.
Now, I’m not saying people were never harassed or stalked or assaulted before the internet, but you have to admit it was harder. If you wanted to stalk someone pre-internet, you had to put in footwork. You couldn’t just make a dummy account to add them on Facebook and scroll through their feed.
It’s madness, and it’s dangerous.
Of course, like I said, this is a love/hate relationship. I know the internet can be wonderful. It’s a great resource for meeting like-minded people easily, it is a treasure trove of educational information, and my socially anxious ass can now buy everything I need without ever having to leave my bedroom. The internet can be a magical wonderland of innovation and light.
It’s just that those asshole ruin it and make me want to burn the whole thing to the ground.
With only all-natural, organic, ethically sourced kindling, of course. Wouldn’t want anyone to think I was pro-pollution.
I love you all.
Are you awesome? Do you like awesome things? Then stop by my shop to pick up a t-shirt or mug and let the world know about your unapologetically authentic awesomeness!
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