I seem to be truly a different type of person. While everyone on Earth has taken to "social" media like it's the ultimate thing ever, the whole thing still just mostly leaves me shrugging. It never, ever clicked with me. There's a lot of reasons for it, not the least of which is that as a whole, this crap just utterly annoys me. I've watched the usefulness of the internet as a forum to communicate and exchange ideas fall through the shitter over the last eight years or so since the Rich Guys decided that the webs were cool. Who needs forums where everybody communicates in-depth in relation to a shared interest or common topic? Fuck that shit, let's post 20-word blurbs about the chicken sandwich we ate at Bruiser's Expensive Bistro.
One thing that always has led me to apathy is how in operation, it's been a broken promise. "Stay in touch!" we're told. Use Facebook or whatever to keep in touch with people who matter to you. Only thing is, it's never worked that way. The people I want to keep in touch with put useless messages on the thing, and when I post something, I get "likes" at the best but usually it just gets ignored. People just seem to pass it by. Getting people to respond to messages is like pulling teeth, too. At one point, I tried setting up a meeting with someone I hadn't seen in years. After the initial exchange of blurbs (I can't call it a conversation, since apparently such things are no longer en vogue on the webs) the important information slowed to a halt. Phone numbers, where to meet, all of that. Sure we got it worked out, but Jesus... If this garbage is supposed to be "the future of the internet" I'd rather go back to Usenet.
Following is the annoyance of how the broken promise trashed what worked. We'd built perfectly operable systems without these "social media giants" but now it seems what we had now needs to go away since that's not the new shiny shit. Forums, bulletin boards, Usenet, standalone IM. All of these things existed before, and we used them to say more and share more than we do now. I learned more about people in a twenty-minute conversation on AOL IM in the late 90s than I'll ever learn about someone on fucking Facebook. Why? Because it's not about getting to know people, or about communication, it's about having a big friend list, and by friend I mean "vague acquaintance on the interwebs."
Used to be if I came into contact with someone from say... Poland, it would be at a forum about a topic we both know and enjoy, so we'd have common ground to start with and from there could come to know one another as we communicate, share ideas, share things about ourselves. We were brought closer together by this wonderful, egalitarian Internet. But in the 21st Century, on the interwebs and Facebook, we know that someone has walked their dog. That's the extent of information shared. Oh be still my heart, what an improvement! I was so sick of coming closer together with people from around the world, and I'll be excited when any work done by average persons to break down borders is undone because Facebook Europe put a pay-wall up to charge a Euro to send a message to a Facebook North America user.
That's the problem.
It's all about the money, boys! The Internet was egalitarian and altruistic when we controlled it. Now that money's involved, the pooch is screwed. We've lost, and there's no going back. Denizens of the Eighth Internet gladly traded their Liberty for cat videos, 140-character sound-bite friendly blurbs, Liking name brands, and shitty photo filters applied to bad photography of useless things.
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
Listening to: Peter Gabriel - So (20th Anniversary Edition)