At that time I remember it feeling like the wild west, a whole new world to create beginnings from, and a new community based on global standards and the sharing of free information. It was going to unite humanity and I was a part of that, it was so exciting and optimistic.
I’m so aged now I remember when the web became a popular thing. I was the third person to post a story about Crohn’s disease, on the entire Internet. Eeeee thems were the days. It was possible to know most of the Internet back then, and the same people popped up everywhere, like a new global family.
Then.. AOL happened. Companies realised the power of locking people into their ecosystem and controlling the user’s experience. It didn’t have to be good, just convenient.
People formed groups – you were either AOL or not. Then you were Geocities, or not. Then Friendster, LiveJournal, MySpace, Facebook, Insta, Apple, Android, etc. Everyone got put into little segregated cultures, cliques, and the Internet experience became curated for us by algorithms, programmed by people wanting to make money from us, and affect our thoughts politically. Via convenience, marketing and peer pressure, we became addicted to it, and dependent. The Internet is a bit fucked now.
Same as the world in general, too. We’ve become dependent on the capitalist systems around us, immersed in our specific segregated mindsets (i.e. patriotism), and lost track of the big picture of what makes us happy and healthy.
We think we’re free and awakening, and using the Internet is amazing to connect to like minded people, feel validated, and communicate and spread good messages and whatnot. But when we’re on it all day, and online communications take over from real life, we lose ourselves to it. It changes our mindset, affects our personality, we don’t even see it. We’re back in the matrix. It can be as damaging, or much worse than TV for randomly bringing you up and down emotionally.
So for now I’m gonna half my usage and restrict myself to two posts a day, checking in on replies twice a day, and putting a schedule around it. Balanced internetting. And now I will go for a walk and a paddle in the river 😊