Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I think we all need to re-learn the Internet.

I’ve been avoiding the Internet. It honestly just brings me down lately and I find myself just staying away from it as much as possible, which is honestly freaking me out because like so many people in my generation, I can honestly say I’m addicted to the Internet. Except, the Internet is poison for our minds. Why can’t I be addicted to kale? Or working out? No, I’m addicted to browsing Buzzfeed, Instagram, Facebook, my blog stats, my email… whatever. 

I guess I’m just completely over the unnecessary snark from all the websites I frequent, even my own. A guy can’t even write a Buzzfeed post without having 5 people say how much they hated that post. Really? Is this what we do now? I see bitching and snarking everywhere I go… Facebook statuses, blog comments, forums dedicated to actual snarking (except I’ve decided to stop reading things like that because it’s usually all false and just brings you down). The Internet just flat out sucks. It’s not even fun anymore. Well, it’s fun for people who either can roll with insults thrown at them from people hiding behind the convenient anonymous title (or not anonymous, it doesn’t really matter) or those that love to be negative. 

I’m sure the Internet has always been pretty cruel, but maybe I was naïve back then. I didn’t notice the negative commentary until the last few years. Before, the Internet was actually this really cool open community (in my experience at least). People came together (for the most part, bare with me here…) and you could actually build friendships, share things, and just generally be yourself. I’m not stupid and I know there have always been people that trolled, but maybe I’ve been lucky to never see any of that until the last 4 years. Is it just me or does the internet feel especially icky? 

I’m not “quitting” the Internet, as this post maybe seems to imply. And I have talked about taking time off and away (which as I’m sure you can tell if you follow this blog- my blog posts have lessened up a bit), but I’m not sure if quitting is something I even want to do long term, of if I can even do. Addicted. I think my generation is obsessed with sharing. If we’re not sharing, did it actually even happen? I hate that about myself. 

My message is pretty much for anyone who could maybe take a minute and think about just being kind. Understand that the Internet is not just full of anonymous writers, a live actual person will read what you say and sometimes words still hurt even if they’re coming from you, someone the writer doesn’t know. It’s amazing how much anxiety and stress reading mean comments can bring someone everyday. And sure, maybe if someone can’t deal with it then they shouldn’t be on the Internet, but do you really think that’s fair? Would you apply that rule to yourself? 

I’m in a really weird mood tonight and this topic has been kinda weighing on me all day. I’m just sad for our generation and how angry and angsty and annoying we all are. I dream of a wonderful, calm life minus the Internet but I’m not sure if I’m even strong enough to do it. Could you?

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