Why I’m Getting Bored of the Internet

I need a vaca­tion. From the Inter­net. It’s just too much with which to keep up, and I find myself pin­ing for a sim­pler era, where­in one’s online iden­ti­ty cul­mi­nat­ed in a per­son­al homepage.

I cut my teeth on those per­son­al home­pages. I did­n’t wor­ry about SEO, nor did I real­ly need to. I did­n’t use the lat­est code, but nobody cares.

And life was easy. I could update my page as I desired, and it real­ly did­n’t mat­ter whether it became stale or not.

As time pro­gressed, the Web became more com­pli­cat­ed. MySpace was an ear­ly indi­ca­tor of this. And as oth­er social net­works popped up, increas­ing­ly a per­son­’s online iden­ti­ty was a stream of updates on some­body else’s website.

Today we have Face­book. Twit­ter. Flickr. Google+. Youtube. DeviantArt. Picasa. Orkut. Gra­vatar. WordPress.com. Blog­ger. Deli­cious. Diigo. Stum­ble­Upon. Tum­blr. Get­Glue. Foursquare.

And so many more.

I won’t dis­pute these are great ser­vices. They are.

Social net­works, all of them. Some are spe­cial­ized; oth­ers are more gen­er­al. Yet each of them gives you a pro­file to maintain.

Who has the time to keep up with one of them, let alone several?

I’m glad I don’t have a smart­phone. The temp­ta­tion to “check in” to every loca­tion I arrive at or every piece of enter­tain­ment I enjoy would be too great to ignore.

I can’t help but think it’s all so much a waste of time, and of course there is the loom­ing shad­ow that any of those net­works will one day shut down, tak­ing your iden­ti­ty with it. (Most of us remem­ber the once pop­u­lar Geocities.)

I long for a sim­pler era, per­haps a time when hav­ing an online iden­ti­ty meant main­tain­ing an actu­al web­site and per­haps even (*gasp*) learn­ing a bit of markup.

No doubt many of us would appre­ci­ate the reduc­tion in online noise that this would allow.

I long for an era with no more “Likes” or “+1s” or oth­er arbi­trary link track­ing, where­in all we do is let cor­po­ra­tions make mar­ket­ing sta­tis­tics out of us. If you like some­thing, link back to it on your own web­site, where it mat­ters. “Lik­ing” and “+1ing” is too easy, so easy that I’d say it’s mean­ing­less. (“Lik­ing” on Face­book is so ridicu­lous­ly mean­ing­less that Far­mVille play­ers insist on peo­ple lik­ing their sta­tus­es to show that a Far­mVille bonus or what­ev­er has been received, so that oth­ers don’t need­less­ly click it.)

I long for an era where peo­ple wrote for oth­er peo­ple, when posts did­n’t read like care­ful­ly craft­ed mar­ket­ing garbage.

Does any of this stuff mat­ter at all? Am I a bet­ter per­son for any of it?

Eccle­si­astes, one of my favorite books of the Bible, laments that “of the writ­ing of books, there is no end.”

What would the author have said about the Inter­net, where­in hun­dreds of thou­sands of blog posts, sta­tus updates, book­marks, pic­tures, and videos are post­ed every hour?

“Van­i­ty of van­i­ties… all is vanity.”

Maybe what I long for is a paper journal.

4 thoughts on “Why I’m Getting Bored of the Internet”

  1. Hel­looo,
    Many times I feel the same way too. Inter­net addic­tion can be a bor­ing thing.
    I stayed away from Face­book and Twit­ter for some times, doing any oth­er things that does­n’t need me to plug-in the inter­net con­nec­tion. Well, it works — but then I missed them again, lol.

    Last year, in an act to rebel agaist the expo­nen­tial growth of tech­nol­o­gy I can­celled my cell phone and now its only func­tion is an alarm/coaster on my night stand. I spend most my day in front of 2 com­put­er screens and sev­er­al more hours in front of a lap­top. Being online is unavoid­able since I make $ doing it. And I am con­nect­ed through the won­ders of Google Voice, email, etc.… How­ev­er, It just came to a point where I real­ly want­ed to be able to “dis­con­nect” from the rest of the world’s need to connect.

    It is too much and most is a waste of time. At what ben­e­fit does know­ing what your friend had for break­fast via their sta­tus update mat­ter let alone a friend of a friend or some­one you have absolute­ly no rela­tion­ship with at all!?!?

    I could keep ram­bling about the mass con­sumerism that we live in and the more I real­ize how in the end 99% of it real­ly does­n’t mat­ter. To re-work and old phrase; I think it is time to…
    TURN OFF, TUNE OUT & DROP IN to stuff that has more mean­ing. Hang out with friends in per­son, do some­thing social, take your kid to a ball game- get back to what real­ly mat­ters rather then focus­ing on the newest Ipad, Iphone Isome­thing that will be out­dat­ed next month anyway.

    p.s. Rick, thanks for cre­at­ing open­hook.… it has helped me a lot in past The­sis projects.

  3. Geez, Rick! A girl­friend? I had a feel­ing that when you post­ed the first poly thingy that your wife would­n’t be very thrilled. Then you dis­ap­peared for months only to return appar­ent­ly still mar­ried! I guess by that time the die had been cast. 

    I great­ly regret that you are no longer a hus­band to your wife and what about your kid(s)?

  4. My divorce had noth­ing to do with the poly thing; in fact, the divorce was my idea, unre­lat­ed to reli­gious beliefs. We nev­er had any kids.

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Rick Beckman