I don’t begrudge the existence of the internet. It’s one of the most mind-bogglingly revolutionary tools ever invented. And like any tool, its utility will depend on who wields it. There will be good that comes out of it, and bad. It could be argued, of course, that unlike most tools, the internet—thanks to the US security state’s deep, intertwined relationship with it since its early days and the centralising, monopolising, uber-capitalist Silicon Valley influence of its latter days—has always been steered down the road of repression and surveillance rather than democratisation. But, you know, you can buy a lot of sh*t on it too, so that’s pretty cool.
Okay, that’s unfair.
It’s also cool how it gives activists the ability to link up and share information like never before. Though I guess that also counts for the less progressive type of activist. And for the surveillance agencies keeping tabs on both groups while almost certainly prioritising the former.
I keep getting turned around here.
F**k it. I’m just gonna cut to the chase and say that despite all the bonuses that come with living with the internet, I do miss the simplicity of the pre-internet age, and I feel quite lucky that my generation (born in the late eighties) was the last to experience a life before this all-encompassing global net connected everyone and everything. Granted, the rose tinted spectacles of nostalgia will be doing some heavy lifting here, but nevertheless. In transitioning to the global hivemind, we gained a whole lot, but we definitely lost something, and I miss it. I miss the ability to be disconnected. I miss privacy. It’s one of the first things I think of when I ponder how life must be different growing up now compared to when I did. Reddit pondered this question the other day when it asked the question: ‘What was a perfectly normal situation in the eighties and nineties that the younger generation just can’t relate to now?’ You can check out the full thread here, but below are some highlights:
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