The Internet and I


I am not a specialist. I am not even an amateur. But still, I am an arbiter.

Like you, I float above the world, on the wings of the Internet. Like you, I hang from satellites by invisible wires -- suspended, I can look down and see everything in the world at a glance.

Every website is a portal. At my fingertips are collections of data, served to me on a platter, freely and readily available -- an intellectual soup kitchen. I process so much data each day -- the physical world can hardly compare. I become simply a brain and a set of fingers. I no longer have legs; the physical world around me no longer matters. It is simply a platform from which I can observe the abstract world, the world of news feeds, headlines, technology, opinions, trends, shared videos, blogs, libraries, code.

What does it mean to be alive in 2015?

We are no longer the cavemen of the ancient age. We are hybrids. We are cyborgs. Augmented by data, bound to our flesh. We have needs, but so easily are they fulfilled that most of our lives are spent seeking out entertainment and finding ways to self-express. Our clothes, our news feeds, our blogs, our songs, our paintings, our projects -- all modes of self-expression, all with a digital element. We are Wired, and in the digital forum, our Vices congregate and bid for our attention in the Book of Faces; the power of suggestion lies as much now in the Search Bar as in billboards and TV advertisements. Emotion and Aesthetic are distilled into shows and served at the salad bar known as Netflix. Meanwhile, we munch on popcorn, or ice cream, or strawberries, or Sour Patch Kids. This is everyday life.

To a caveman, it was only a dream. It wasn't even a dream. It was a glimmer of hope, it was a desire to conquer, to improve -- conquer the natural world, improve our selves and our systems. Well, here we are! But paradox is eternal: you know someone who knows Prozac, and Prozac is dying to know you. We prescribe pills for ADHD but still provide "Articles You Might Like." More is still more. More will always be more.

It's fine. I love it. Life is a roller coaster, and it was meant to be. This is the best of all possible worlds. You have no idea what I'm talking about, but our genetic material is a 99% match. I love you, but I don't know you, or even know who you are. Our only interaction is through words on a screen, and you're choosing that above everything else, right this second. 

I love you for it. But more importantly: we both love the Internet. 


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