Friday, August 17, 2012

What if the Internet is like Disco?

What if the Internet wears off and like the fad of disco it just becomes historical like roller skates or  the tech bubble or the real estate bubble or like the Charleston and Raccoon Coats were to the twenties? What if we happened to live through a fad brought about by a tech change overblown by the powers that be and the Internet turns out not to be life changing but a colossal waste of time for a bunch of people who thought social media and companies were the answer. And it just passed into another weird twist of American obsession with something new. Like Pet Rocks.

Kidding some. Yeah. But Facebook is not what it used to be and there is that nagging question of who really makes money on the Internet. And yeah people do but most people don't. Most people spend a lot of time blogging and typing and linking and tweeting and emailing and chatting and it might, it might just be a colossal wast of time and have very little impact on the quality of your life. What if it turned out to be like television. Something that just eats hours and gives you nothing back?

There is that suspicion. Every unreturned email. Every tweet that means nothing. Every blog that falls on no one. And that theory that x amount of hits equal x amount of sales. Yeah. Right. Nobody knows. There is perceived value (see instagram) and there is real value. No doubt it is the biggest home shopping network in the world. No doubt it is the biggest yellow pages in the world. But these utilitarian functions pale to the life changing fodder pumped out by the Internet itself. People living in a cyber world that is really a phantom that means nothing.

Is there anything more disingenuous than friending someone on Facebook? Not even the status of an acquaintance, a digital friend is a ghost that has no physicality. Most people are lucky to have two or three real friends and they are more than a million online "friends." If you don't know the difference then you might be in danger of being victim to the latest fad...the last great days of disco.

Books by William Hazelgrove