Life, the Internet, and the Death of Something Once Great

Whatever happened to wanting to become something more than we are.  In life, love, politics, etc etc.  More and more it seems that slander, derogatory comments, mickey mouse commentary and general rude behavior have become the norm, both in public and online.  So much so that conversations between people of varying viewpoints now cease to exist ( at least in my experience).

It’s as if the common good no longer exists. Hell, using “the common good” in the wrong context will get you labeled as a communist or worse.  No one can seem to decide on who the benefactors are anymore, but here’s a hint… no one.  Nothing is to be gained from our current tact.  And it’s no one person’s fault.  

While I will always pull for my origin country, it’s no longer something to be proud of.  People refer to the internet as the embodiment of the free market, or the rallying cry of change, but I see it much differently.

See, I grew up with the internet…almost literally.  In this case I am the benefactor of a pc-centric household where the father figure was a systems guy with a programming itch.  I’ve watched it go from text only, to 4-bit, 8-bit, 16-bit to HD.  From small groups of nerds, to mass appeal.  It hasn’t aged well.  As it was intended to be, it has not become.  Instead of a bastion of free information sharing and collaboration it’s become a collection of hives of like minded individuals who never stray very far from the nest.  Often times these people cannot make it through a sentence without puking forth something I imagine they think is wit, but is often just base-slander and is always in CAPS.

Sure, those of us who do appreciate the actual internet, take advantage of sites like Google Scholar, or the reference links in a wiki (easiest way to look for organized collections), generally free to peruse, objective information.  That’s the internet I grew up on.  Eight colors, chat boards (dorks only) and the ap news.  Anymore people don’t know the difference between editorialism and news.  I almost shudder to engage in conversations anymore, should I ever be graced with a link happy netizen.  Rule of thumb, if it isn’t official, or it doesn’t come from a “.edu”  I’m not going to care, nor should anyone else.

What’s worse is that this current internet culture permeates mass media to the point that elected officials are telling others that they need to watch “network news here.”  Or when legislation stems from internet fringe sites.  Good god we have elected officials that do not believe that the sitting US president was born a US citizen.  Honest to god, do you think the previous Bush administration did not have him vetted?  Regardless, that’s internet influence.  It’s the kind of stuff that gets tossed around on 4chan as a joke, but somehow makes it to mainstream, and then through to elected officials.

I just don’t know how it’s going to all end up, but I can swear this to you, if it does all go down, it’s the fault of all of us for allowing what could have been something beautiful to become what is has become.  Capitalism may have its virtues, but it ruined the best once in a lifetime idea ever created.

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