The reality of the internet has finally come to light this past year. With the global pandemic, no one really noticed the flaws, perks and various angles of the internet. But so much has happened and some of it had been calmed, instigated and balanced with the help of social media and information at your fingertips. This week’s blog post focuses on the good, bad, ugly and the detox that’s needed after dealing with this technological platform day after day, moment after moment.
Blogger Danah Boyd focuses on an all-rounded media in her interview titled The Internet of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. She discusses the truth in a very personal and intimate way, describing an almost-generalized feeling from her own experiences. There were big dreams with technology becoming part of our lives, and an integral part that too. But along with those dreams came flaws, connections, disconnections and honesty of the human race. When Boyd discovered the computer and its skills, she felt that it was made out of people. And it made me wonder, is it really? I mean, think about it. There wouldn’t be any use of internet if people didn’t need it, write on, watch on, etc. It’s there because of us. Come to think of it, it is literally made out of people, whether physically, academically, or emotionally. But who “found” the internet? A question that I was interested to hear in the interview. The question doesn’t come down to who made it, or who invented it, but who found it? The concept of the internet had to be discovered some way, whether it was purposeful or accidental (most likely accidental, like 99% of discoveries.) But after it was discovered, people made it what it is today. Like Boyd, many people love the internet because it gives them a sense of belongingness and connection. On the other hand, the internet has also been the medium for division and disconnection. Believe me, I know. I made friends thanks to the internet, and I lost some too. Good or bad? I can’t say, but maybe if social media hadn’t been there, certain decisions wouldn’t have been taken. (No regrets, just saying.) But with the internet, also comes apophenia; a term used to describe unpredictable connections. Honestly, that’s a natural feature of the human brain. Whether we had the computers or not, it wouldn’t have made a different with apophenia. Our train of thoughts keeps diverting in different directions, making links we didn’t know existed before.
It brought with the honesty of the double-standard society we all our part of. And maybe ourselves contribute to that “double-standardness” in some way, shape or form. Sometimes intentional, sometimes without having any idea. It all depends on who we are. But with so much honesty and flaws being thrown our away every second with social media, there’s now the need for a digital detox. And no, I don’t mean throwing chamomile tea on your laptop but I mean stepping away from anything within the social media and internet realm. And just like Brenna in Digital Detox #1: Welcome to the Show, having to teach and learn virtually is probably something I was daunted for and still am waiting to get rid of. And the capitalism that has come with virtual everything has arrived when “we’re all tired to attend to matters of governance.” Pick your battles, but we are all too exhausted to lift our fingers, forget about having any energy to pick one. This past year, being virtual for everything has undoubtedly benefitted some and hurt some especially when it comes to balancing work, school and family. It has made things that are usually impossible, barely possible whether it’s studying from inside the house when you have a big family or working when you have children playing band from their bedrooms. This university that has been “rebuilt”, is it something we as a collective entity are satisfied with? Do we want to continue with this way of life post-pandemic? My vote: 1000% NO. Sometimes I am done with hope, optimism, keeping a smile when everything wants to turn it upside down but come of think of it, we are now one year into this pandemic. In March 2020, I didn’t think there would be so much going on despite the worldly hurdles. Internet has pulled people up and pushed people down, shed a light on flaws and oppressed the benefits or vice versa…what do you want to do? You make the call: heads or tails?