Wednesday, 7 January 2015

I Need To Get Off The Internet

I need to get off the internet. Its driving me mad. A swirling, random cacophony of mindless and usually uninformed opinions, often masquerading as fact, is the last thing I need in my life. It is soul-crushingly depressing to go there every day and see people competing like trained mice in some great mouse aquarium for your attention - and knowing that you are supposed to be competing for the attention of others as well. This is where begging and promoted tweets come from and ice bucket challenges start. To play this game you need opinions on everything - even when 95% of the day's stories will probably never impact you in any meaningful way. Don't let that bother you though. Just wade in with your uniformed, off-the-top-of-your-head prejudices because its not knowing anything that counts, its taking part. Commercial media will help you in this by asking the public's opinion about anything and everything. They want your feels because, godammit, your feels count.

Social media is, of course, the worst culprit. Post something, anything, on You Tube and people you have never heard of will queue up to insult and ridicule you in as many ways as possible. Go on Twitter and see people competing to be the funniest person in the world, turning every possible subject under the sun into something as frivolous as possible. Go on Facebook to find posts by every nonentity in the world who think that YOU need to know what their opinion is about things. Really, when you think about it social media is a candy floss factory. (That's cotton candy for American viewers.) Social media turns EVERYTHING into a sickly sweet, tastes-good-in-your-mouth treat but later on, when you've eaten too much, you will just have a gut ache. I am now very much starting to see the wisdom of what British comedian Stewart Lee has said about the internet and why he maintains no social media accounts. No one needs this in their life. Not even the desperate and lonely who see it as a way to contact another human being. In fact, they probably need it least of all.

But I don't want to sound ungrateful to the internet before I attempt to leave it behind me and forget it ever existed. I must be fair and admit that it has changed my life really. I am at the age where my life splits neatly in two between an age without the internet and an age with it. So I've seen both sides. I would likely never have done many things I have done in the second half of my life if the internet had never been invented. For example, I would never have lived in another country for several years. Several relationships with women (and quite a bit of sex) would never have happened without the internet. I'm the kind of introverted person who finds the internet appealing too. This is because I am ugly but have charm and wit. So through a screen I get the chance to showcase what I have got without the horror of actually having to look at me, sitting there in front of you. Thank you internet.

Right now I am thinking of a log cabin in some woods. There are mountains nearby and a raging mountain torrent cascades down the hill. Its idyllic and, most importantly, not a fucking soul lives within 200 miles of me. Its just me and the wilderness. I've seen places like it on the internet and sites like the blog "Cabin Porn" do a very good job of luring me away into fantasy.

I need to get off the internet.

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