When the World Wide Web, or the internet as we popularly know it, was created by Tim Berners-Lee in 1989, it was something that would forever change the course of mankind.
A development of this sort was massive.
And it would take years, if not decades to see the full effects. Even today, 30 years later after its creation we are still seeing new developments.
And they are scary.
When the internet was created it seemed that it would be a good tool for all. An ability for people to connect with one another all over the globe, and quickly too. Not with all the delay and toil that it took to connect via Pen and paper.
At first it seemed good. But then things developed. As the internet has matured many bad things about it have surfaced. There are so many bad (and good things too) to talk about that it is much beyond the scope of the post and the amount of time I have this morning to write as well for me to talk about all of them.
Today I will chiefly write on social media.
I have never been for it. Even as a high schooler I saw the problems with it. When facebook was rolled out everyone made their profiles and added each other and shared photos and comments with each other. It was really fun.
But then within a few months everything changed.
If someone posted a photo but it didn’t get enough likes then that person would delete it. People were now afraid to be themselves. They were creating and editing their profiles in order to socially fit in. In worse cases people started hazing others on the internet. Something that once started out as innocent fun now had been soiled by human nature.
Social Media was being used for bad too.
But that was back in high school, which for me was 2006-2010. The internet has come a very long way since then. Many many more social websites have been developed and further facebook has become such a behemoth that it is almost impossible to not use it. I personally hate facebook, I have no interest in ever using it. I never post on my account and I could care less. I would much rather use my time during my day to actually be social and talk to real people instead of waste my time on my phone.
With that said, I still have a facebook account.
But why? Well, because I have no choice. Too many other applications for my iPhone have been bought out by facebook and require an account to log in. It it almost quite literally impossible to not have one, or else practically nothing on my phone works these days. Further, everyone else uses facebook and I am the outlier by straying from it.
I will not break though.
Quantitative studies have come out too at this point where it has been proven that Social Media usage makes people more depressed than happy: especially the usage of instagram. This is particularly pernicious as instagram is all about having the “perfect life.” Which of course nobody has. But yet so many people worldwide continue to post photos of their lives and notably the best parts about it. In short, if you have a lame instagram it must mean that your life is too.
I say cut the tie, get off of it.
It will honestly make you happier. After all it has been scientifically proven to make humans depressed. Are you any different from other humans? Maybe. But most likely you are not. So why play the game? Is it really worth it?
I say no.
Further, I wouldn’t even stop there. Think about lots of other internet related usages. So many of them also have many bad effects. One that I have been thinking about recently is YouTube and Twitch. As some of you readers know I have been twitch streaming for the past 4 years, often with high ambitions for my channel. But the more I thought about it, especially with some prominent internet celebrities going through things these past weeks, it doesn’t seem worth it to me.
Too often are internet celebrities seriously harassed. Many receive death threats, have stalkers, and especially get Doxxed: dispersing their contact information and addresses out onto the internet. One can quickly see the dangers that can present themselves. Being famous on the internet is not good.
Further, people are always looking to take you down. You say the wrong thing, or it gets taken out of context, and suddenly you are in the middle of an internet firestorm and your reputation could be irreparably damaged.
Make no mistake about it, the internet has created a Global Mob.
This really is one of the most monstrous developments of the internet. Everyone across the world can simply band together and decide to create a coalition against another over often just a simple post or statement. Often, with no context being understood.
And further, there is no longer an opportunity to be an asshole.
People are jerks. I mean that. Myself included. None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes. We all say dumb things. And most of us regret those mistakes. And most of us mature. This is human nature.
But the internet is forever.
It keeps things that were once said in mistake, or in a fit of anger, or due to some other emotion (maybe a tough break-up) up on the internet for all to see forever.
This is not how it should be.
And many people have been ruined today because of something they said on the internet that was not appropriate under the guise of “social justice.”
Sure, some people have been rightly exposed, but how many others have just had the mob unjustly descend on them for something that they did years ago, of which in many cases it was not so serious. Or further, how many people have been ruined because of mere claims that someone made against them.
In this day and age all it takes is for someone to make a claim to ruin them. What ever happened to “innocent until proven guilty?”
Well in this internet age that really doesn’t matter.
The damage is gone immediately and there is no turning back. Once you are a pariah on the internet it stays that way for life. Very few people are vindicated. All that remains is to hide away and try to hopelessly live your ruined life where no one recognizes you and shames you more. Of course that is a tremendous challenge when everyone is a paparazzi armed with their iPhone which is connected to twitter.
You are always one snap or tweet away from drama and potentially worse: social doom.
The internet has done many good things though. I have made many friends, entertained people all around the world, heck one fan of mine (Labanfro from Sweden!) named his kid after me. That sure felt great! Rock on Labanfro! And little Nolan too!
But if I have to look at it objectively. I really do believe that the internet is doing more harm than good currently. The mob is out of control and constant use of the internet, and most definitely internet fame is nothing but a liability.
It really has been a wild resolution for me to arrive at as I have been chasing fame on twitch for years, but now I believe that it is not worth it.
I think I will just stick to my normal life.