I’ve had enough of the “social” internet – because it’s not really “social” at all.
Back when the internet first started, computers were connected to each other around the world to share research information with each other. It didn’t take long for the various scientists, tutors, and students involved to begin using the system purely as a communication medium – rather than sharing academic papers, or sets of results, they were introducing themselves, sharing their ideas, and debating each other in the open minded way that academic people tend to.
Everything was good, the sun shone, the birds sang, and the early internet was a hummy kind of place (and yes, that’s a Winnie the Pooh reference).
And then the unwashed masses turned up. I make it sound like they suddenly arrived, but in reality it took 20 years to happen. Businesses with marketing departments, political parties, and worst of all – people. Little by little, the self-governing, open, free, uncontrolled communication networks became afflicted by the same poisons that affect the real world.
The arrival of the masses also heralded the arrival of nationalism, racism, fanboyism, religion, predjudice, persecution, politics, ignorance it all started to happen, and it has kind of ruined everything.
Those that seek to control the internet often label the “system” as an anarchy – except in terms of the internet, the best thing about the internet is that you can describe it as an anarchy – a system that supports free speech, and that cannot be easily shut down, or silenced. I realise this is paradoxical – the lack of control is the very thing that allows hate, prejudice, and persecution to proliferate.
And this is why I’m choosing to walk away from the social side of the internet – at least for a while. I will still be posting to my blog, and reading and commenting on the blogs I choose to follow (you are all wonderful by the way). I just won’t be jamming my posts under the noses of people elsewhere, because I’m pretty much sick all the crap involved in dealing with the wider populance of the internet.
I don’t want to take any sides. I don’t want to join anything. I don’t want to listen to your “gang” spouting hate. I don’t want to have to ignore it all either. I just want to keep in touch with a few friends around the world. If I can just do that (and I can), I’ll be happy.