Why You Shouldn’t Fear the Internet (Or, How to Just Chill Out and Live a Happy Life With so Much Internet Stuff Going on all the Time)
The numbers are staggering. At some point, we may need to invent new numbers to tally up the volumes of information flowing through the aether of the WWW. Just the notion of a WORLD WIDE network sounds both frightening and exciting. Potentially, everybody in the world can get connected and so everybody in the world has a voice. This produces quite an interesting array of information that until recently would have remain locked away in the minds of millions or relegated to tiny corners of civilization known only to a few who might have been in earshot of the offhand comment. The deluge of information can be a source of stress, but it need not be. The following may unintentionally become a self-help manual for the internet age, but it is intended to be a description of the internet age.
It is easy to read a timeline of tweets and get annoyed at the absurdity of it all.
Here are a few tweets from a currently “trending” hash tag called #ReplaceAMovieTitleWithGoat:
This Hunger Games fan obviously feels that the series needs more goat representation…
The Goat Games
Mockingoat part 1
Mockingoat part 2
Perhaps this gem from 1987 would be better if the vaginaless trio were suddenly saddled with a goat rather than a human baby:
Three Men and a Goat
Twitter has the odd reputation of causing people to oversimplify complex ideas for the sake of complying with its 140 character limit, but now they have gone even further with the #WhatIsLoveIn4Words hashtag:
Thankfully the folks at Clorox have dedicated their considerable R & D coffers to solving this age old question…
I did your laundry
And I am certain that if William Shakespeare had a Twitter account, he would have his own spin on this gem:
Not holding farts in.
Perhaps something like: “Love is Flatulence Shared.” But since he doesn’t have a twitter account, the world will NEVER know how his mind might parse this particular meme.
You see, it is easy to laugh at the absurdity of it all. The “likes,” the “pokes,” the “tweets” and “retweets” are all so easy to dismiss. And just as easy as it is to dismiss the tweets and such as just a shitload of silly dust floating on a wind of garbage and stink, many others treat this shit as if it were the new democratic revolution.
Lets address the “new democratic revolution” that is the internet. Yes, it makes communication faster and potentially more wide ranging, but lets face it, most shit out there reaches only a few people. Yes, your world wide voice is not being heard by the world. Don’t believe me, then check out your tweets reach on Twitter analytics. Its free.
Its not a democratic revolution. Its certainly not a creative revolution if the “trends” listed above are any representation of the new medium. So what is it? It is a technological evolution. We went from yodeling, drumming and blowing horns from atop mountains, to writing on parchment, to printing by press, to printing by dot matrix, to radio, to TV and finally to smartphone over the course of thousands of years. Now that everyone has a horn and a mountaintop of their own, everyone will blow it even if they are terrible at this instrument or are drowned out in the noise of the billions of other horn blowers.
The technology allows us to record more information. The information, on its own may be useless to everyone on the planet, but to somebody else, it is their idea of love, it is their humor, it is their manifesto of how life should be lived. And in the aggregate, we get a composition of what life is. Life is sublime and silly. Life is complicated and simple. Our purpose is to express our will. Some folks have a more interesting expression than others, but the more of them we can enjoy, the better. And if you don’t enjoy any of them, then just stop logging on to Twitter for fuck sakes.
Nobody is forcing anyone to read absurd tweets, so nobody should be complaining about them.