This is the first day of my last days…
— Nine Inch Nails: Wish
Life is an opportunity to create, to taste food, to experience love, to have an orgasm, to learn how to play guitar, to frolic in the rain, to laugh, to be adventurous, to make friends. Life is also… disposable. It is a little span of time that allows us to choose and to achieve.
Here’s the kicker – every second after our birth brings us closer to death. To live is to die yet only the almighty knows which of the two is better. One way or another – it pays to make every second count.
Does Technology Make Our Lives Easier or More Difficult?
The fact that our countdown starts the second we are born is something we as humans have realized a long time ago and being the top of the food chain, we brought technology into our lives to make them less complicated. I can’t help but notice, however that even though technology does make our daily survival chores easier, it also disconnects us from social and cultural ties that existed in our societies for millennia.
It would almost seem as though every new technological invention, like a double sided sword, would on one hand make the task it is intended for easier, but on another make our lives as a whole more complicated by over-stimulating our bodies and minds with unnatural impulses.
Internet – The Ultimate Antisocial Tool
Internet is considered to be one of the most groundbreaking inventions of men. It has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives on both societal and individual levels. Easily the most significant impact the internet has made on our lives is the removal of physical presence. Internet connection is all one needs to do business globally, manage international workers, make and receive payments, balance checkbooks, plan a vacation and more – all without leaving the bedroom.
Internet also made the availability of information and speed at which it becomes available unsurpassed, but it’s the fact that you can get this news while chatting with friends, booking your flight ticket or masturbating that truly impacts our lives. 15 years ago, different activities required the use of different tools and presence in different places but today, all one needs is a computer with internet access.
To bet on a sporting event 15 years ago, one would have to go to the booking office. Today one can do it by sitting on a computer with internet access. To talk to a few friends at the same time, one would have to arrange a meeting so they all are in the same room. Today they can do it by sitting on their computers with internet access even if they are worlds apart. Heck, 15 years ago people actually knew all of their friends in real life. Today, thanks to the internet, people have more friends they have never met in person (virtual friends, aka surrogates), than they have the real life ones.
Internet – in a single sentence – has become the ultimate antisocial tool capable of leaving huge holes where comradeships and community once reigned.
Life After the Internet
From a documentary Zeitgeist: Moving Forward I learned that a need for human touch and companionship are necessary for survival and normal development of all human beings. What are we as human beings going to develop into if we continue allowing the internet to keep us from getting to know and interact with one another without any physical contact?
Internet is an excellent tool, but as with everything, when used by weak-minded individuals, it starts to control them, even though they think it’s the other way around. You can tell how many weak-minded individuals are out there by taking a look at how many profiles exist on Facebook. The description of Facebook states the following:
Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them…
..and that’s the way most people perceive Facebook as. Little do they realize that while it connects them with some, it disconnects them with many more. Prior to the internet, people connected with friends by meeting and socializing with them. Instead of entertaining themselves by staring at computer screens, people went somewhere to be with people. Facebook eliminates the need for physical contact and face to face interactions and replaces them with imaginary world in which sounds require speakers.
Internet addicts have internet-numbed brains which prevent them from acknowledging an extent to which internet affects their lives and even if the acknowledgement comes, an attempt to withdraw and set themselves free never thoroughly follows through. To them internet is not a tool which is used when necessary. To them it’s an addiction they dedicate most of their time to, even if it means sacrificing time which would be spent with family or friends. Afterall, how could lunch with friends be any more important than a comment written to impress hoards of people they haven’t even met?
Life after the internet disconnected people from people. Even if there is an off the internet meet-up, the weak-minded, internet-numbed individuals will attend it by spending more time on their little machines (whether texting with cell phones or checking their status and posting comments using internet enabled gadgets) interacting with surrogates than talking with physically present friends.
I recently went to a library and the place was packed. However, I was the only one browsing for books. Everybody else came there to use their free internet. Some youngsters sat mere feet away from each other, yet instead of looking into each other’s eyes to talk, they stared at the screens and chatted using an internet based instant messenger service.
What happened to us? Why did we allow such amazing invention as internet to completely take over our lives and sacrifice everything that makes us who we are to it? When TVs became widely affordable and every household had one, we thought something important was being lost because instead of socializing with other human beings, people spent hours staring absently at a TV screen. We truly had no idea back then what was yet to come…
Internet and Traveling Mark
Internet addiction, just as any other addiction is a sign of mental weakness. If you allow the internet to take you over and do not do anything about it while you can, then you are a weak-minded individual and deserve every bit of what is coming to you. Luckily for me, my journey to self discovery opened up my eyes to more than just what my life after the internet turned into.
My income still depends on use of the internet, but I’m not saying there is anything wrong with using the internet as a tool to achieve great things. I realized a while ago what massive pair of shackles internet represents and have appropriately addressed it. Since that time, I’ve been realizing nothing but its potential. For me, life after the internet has not ended in favour of virtual reality. How about you? It takes a strong individual to see beyond the tip of one’s nose. Have you had your eyes locked to the screen for so long you can no longer focus on the vast world that spreads before your nose’ tip? Remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life? At least make it the rest of your life, not the rest of virtual reality in which you existed.