The Internet is a strange place. It’s this open forum that doesn’t really exist in any other context, this weird amalgam of anonymity and connectivity. I think the Internet is best viewed as a supplement to humanity, an addition, a tool, a thing we use to work or communicate or create. My problem with the Internet doesn’t really have much to do with the Internet itself, but rather the way we use it and the way we are expected to use it. Does that make sense?
I’ve worked jobs where, after hours, there was a certain accountability in checking your email. That’s frustrating, right? What if you aren’t in front of a computer? What if you’re with friends at dinner? What if you’re in the goddamn forest? It should be expected that I will spend some of my day in the forest. It’s an unhealthy way to live, something completely unsustainable. We’ve lost (or abandoned) the art of waiting.
But the Internet has made everything instant. I’ll be the first to admit that I get annoyed with a slow loading web page. If Twitter or Facebook goes down, my first reaction is to Google “Is Twitter or Facebook down?” An answer that always populates on the first page is “yes, and it’s not the end of the world.” Well, that jerk is right, it’s not the end of the world.
I think it’s made me overly anxious. I get frustrated when an old lady is walking in front of me in the mall and I can’t get around her, or when I’m stuck behind a car driving five miles under the speed limit, or when the guy in front of me in line at the grocery store is paying with a check. Where do I have to be? What does it matter? Why do I want to rain down fire and brimstone on anyone who moves slower than me?
I’ve made a lot of stuff for the Internet, like podcasts, webcomics, blogs, and short films. Hell, I even used to have a LiveJournal. I grew up with this culture, it developed as I did. In all honesty, I think my problem with the Internet is that I don’t know how to turn it off.