Messaging and social media apps have fundamentally altered how we learn about the world. It seems like everything is accessible through a phone. Fact check: It’s not. The greater sum of our well being depends not on our connectivity to the internet but to each other.
The devices we carry with us everywhere as our primary connection to each other, though, create the frames inside of which the news, videos, and ideas that we see online are shared with us. As any artist will tell you, the frame matters as much as what’s inside. If we have information overload, it stands to reason that we have frame overload. Devices are now beginning to limit our understanding of what matters offline. We cannot disregard the benefits of connectivity, but there has to be a smarter, healthier balance.
The Internet Review will launch as a Kickstarter book in late autumn. It will include up to fifty written and illustrated works.
You’re going to love every page of it. Contributors include Amber Discko, Helen Rosner, Anil Dash, Maris Kreizman, darth, Emmett Rensin, Nana Mensah, Matt Bors, Alex Alvarez, Michell Clark of Artistic Manifesto, Matt Lubchansky, Jared Keller, Nick Quah, Chris Schroeder, Dan Cohen, Gabriela Barkho, Jeremy Burge, Manny of Art404, Lori White, Chelsea Adelaine Hassler, Adam Harris, melissa c rocha, Josh Gondelman, and Andrew Losowsky.
I’ll admit, the name is partially a slight of hand. It’s not a review of the internet or things that happened on the internet. That would be boring and clickbait-y. It’s a review of trends and events that dominated online discussion in 2016. I just think it’s really funny to call it the Internet Review because it’s my way of making fun of how simultaneously awful and fun the internet can be. The book will focus on our love and hate relationship with the internet and social media.
Let me give you one of this year’s biggest examples of why understanding events online from an offline perspective matters: Pepe the Frog. Consider how Pepe went from a silly cartoon to being accused of inciting hatred and bigotry. No tweet can perfectly describe anything. No photo will tell you everything you need to know about any topic. There are bigger problems in the world than a subtweet. And 2016 is the perfect year to start admitting we need to readjust what benefits we expect from always being online.
The Review has about 30 contributors, but I’m looking for a dozen more written stories on the biggest culture, entertainment, technology, economics, and politics trends and events in 2016. Everything from Duterte, Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Twitter harassment, David Bowie, Milo, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ rights, and what that dumb Bernie Sanders bird symbolized (I still don’t know). The topics should be arguably important enough for wider online discussion but you tell me what you think matters! Think 150–250 words. You’ll get $50 for the work and a free printed book if the Kickstarter succeeds. If it fails, you’ll get $50 and a PDF version of the book.
To pitch a contribution, email by October 31: email@example.com.
Oh, and follow @InternetReview_ on Twitter…
Yours on the internet,