The Internet is an Excuse not to Admit that We are What we are
- The Internet is frequently blamed for processes that were already in place.
- Blaming the Internet is often a way to avoid the real issues (just like blaming television did the same thing before the Internet)
- For example, the progression towards detachment from family/friends/neighbors has been going on for at least a century. Facebook simply gave people what they wanted (a "friendship" that is remote and does not imply duties).
- The advent of lighting and heating for everybody during the Victorian age created a more lonely society because people stopped reading in public and started reading in private. Then radio and television sent people from the town square of their town to their living room. The Internet simply gave them what they wanted: more entertainment without the duty of socializing.
- There has always been a tension between the convenience of privacy (of being beyond scrutiny) and the appeal of popularity. The Internet merely maximizes the balance of the two.
- Ditto for the fear and the pleasure of being multiplied as members of a crowd.
- In the age of social media, when your persona is available for browsing by the masses, the plurality of identity that an individual used to have (as a relative, as a friend, as a colleague, as a student/teacher/etc.) gets compacted in just one profile, a digital "one size fits all" solution. However, this solution also relieves you of the plurality of obligations and rituals that came with the plurality of your persona.
- The truth is that we all hated having to to the bookstore, or having to listen to the songs chosen by a dj (who often didn't even bother to tell us the title of the songs), and we feel empowered now that we can order the books from an online store and now that we can create our own playlists on our digital music player.
- We, who live in the age of opening hours (there are hours when stores and services work) can't wait to transition into an age with no opening hours, when stores and services will be fully automated and work 24 hours a day, and the notion of "lunch break", "holiday" and so forth will not exist anymore.
- The Internet gave us what we want: we are vain, superficial and asocial.