The internet does funny things to us sometimes. Well, fine, we do funny things to ourselves by spending too much time on the internet. One of the greatest things about the internet is that it can make the world feel like a much smaller place. But this also happens to be one of the worst things about it. As much as it can lead us to broaden our horizons and connect with others in ways we couldn't otherwise, it can also narrow our focus and feed our tendencies toward obsession in very negative ways.
(Oh, internet. Remember back in the day when you were nothing but AOL chatrooms filled with pre-teens giving each other @--8 and pretending like they sort of kind of looked like roses?)
I've been thinking lately about my online activity and how it impacts me. I went ahead and illustrated my worst tendencies for you, because I'm honest like that.
Why did that person get that deal/attention/publicity/article/praise/baby/agent/blurb?
I WANT THAT. I SHOULD HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THAT. I HATE THEM. I DON'T KNOW THEM, BUT I HATE THEM. WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT WANT!
Usually followed by:
Oh. I guess I'm doing just fine, actually. In fact, I'd bet a lot of people would do pretty much anything to get what I have. Wow. I'm kind of a jerk.
Next, we have:
HA HA HA! LOOK AT THIS! THE INTERNET LOVES MY NEWEST BLOG POST/WITTY TWEET! I AM SO POPULAR! I AM SMART AND FUNNY AND WONDERFUL AND THE WHOLE INTERNET WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND!
Followed quickly by:
PANIC AND STRESS
Maybe I should have gotten the whole story. But the whole story doesn't even matter, because it never does anyone any good to put more negativity into the world. Besides which, who's to say that the poor idiot who wrote the wrong thing won't be me someday? CRAP CRAP CRAP please let that never be me that my little corner of the internet turns on, I'm sorry, I'll never indignantly rage again! IT IS ALL SPARKLES FROM NOW ON.
So, I guess where I hope to be (and I trip up a lot, but I'm working on it) is past the thing I do where I am constantly
WORRYING ABOUT THINGS
and to the part where I am actively
CARING ABOUT PEOPLE
Because in the end, that's the best thing we can do with the internet. (Besides Bejeweled Blitz, of course.) So, my goal is this:
HAPPINESS AND COMPASSION
Oh, hi there, internet! I remember that you are all people behind your icons and computer screens, and I'll try my best to make your life a little happier if I can. And I'll definitely remember that the world doesn't start and end on this dumb screen, and that you don't actually need me for anything other than the occasional smile. So here. Have a unicorn!