Why the Internet Is the Best and Worst Invention of All Time
We hardly notice it now, but I believe we’re living through one of the most important times in human history, due to the invention and spread of the internet. Even if you are five years old (and reading this article? Good job, dude) you’ve seen massive changes in the technology available during your lifetime. The internet is both the best and worst invention of all time and it’s changing everything.
WHY IT'S THE BEST: Information is everywhere
We really do have the potential to learn about everything. Information is at our fingertips that used to be available only to the hardiest of researchers. We can’t forget how incredible it is that in one moment you can look up the name of the guest star on today’s episode of Modern Family, the square root of anything, a YouTube video explaining relativity, and disgusting photos of every disease you think you might have on WebMD. I’m traveling through Europe and the Middle East right now and I can buy my plane tickets online, find a place to stay, and use Google maps to find my way around, all before I ever show up. It’s freaking amazing.
It’s easy to find weirdos who like the same stuff as you
If you lived in a small town and loved ghost hunting or World War I or underwater embroidery, it used to be that you would have to indulge your passion alone, in secret, in your basement. The internet has made it so that nobody needs to feel alone, because no matter what your weird passion is, somebody else out there likes it too. There are too many human beings in the world not to find someone as strange as you are.
YouTube is full of videos of animals being friends with each other
Without the internet, I would probably go my entire life without seeing proof that sometimes turtles and dogs are friends. Cross-species animal friendship is the best thing that’s ever happened to our planet, and without the internet, we’d be at an almost complete loss to see it with our own eyes.
Social media is revolutionizing how we connect
I’ve moved and traveled a ton in my life, and because of social media, I’m able to keep in touch with my friends in Germany, Indiana, LA, Egypt, and Thailand. It doesn’t matter where we are or how long it’s been, there’s no reason to lose touch anymore. Social media is so convenient that you don’t need anyone’s phone number, you just need to know their name and you can look them up on Facebook. Also Twitter exists and it’s hilarious.
WHY IT'S THE WORST: It brings out the worst in people
I want to believe that people are basically good, but too much time looking at internet comments will extinguish that hope forever. Anonymity brings out our worst selves, and people will write things on the internet they’d never say in real life. I remember several years ago reading an interview with a famous actress who said she had to stop reading about herself online because the comments were so mean, and I’d honestly never realized that celebrities read what people say about them or that it might hurt their feelings.
Sometimes the comments people leave on my articles hurt my feelings, especially if the commenter says they wish I would die. Nobody should ever wish death upon someone just because they don’t like an article they wrote. That is f*cked up, internet. Or any time a woman writes something about feminism online, they will get tons of the harshest vitriol lobbed at them on the internet, and it sometimes makes me feel like all the good stuff about the internet isn’t worth it. If anyone has hope that the cesspool that is an internet comment section will stop being so sh*tty someday, please leave a comment below. And if you have something sh*tty to say, maybe try locking yourself in a room and not coming out until you’re a decent human being. The world honestly does not have to be that mean.
Everything we used to do has been replaced by the internet
Reading books? Hah. No. Instead, we read the internet. Talking to people? Nah, we’ll just Facebook and Whatsapp. Going outside? No way, we’ll look at cool nature pics online. How many times have you seen a sunrise in person versus seeing a picture of a sunrise online? That’s right, you should feel bad. I do! The internet is bringing an end to many of the activities that have sustained humans throughout our history, and has weakened our ability and desire to connect with each other in person. We’re also losing all types of interesting stores to the behemoth that is Amazon and other online shopping. Soon, all we will have is the internet. We are all King Midas, and everything we touch turns to internet.
Social media wastes your time
I love Facebook but holy lord can you waste your time there reading crap that nobody needs to know and looking at videos you’ll forget in an hour. It’s so easy to have a lot to do (and limited time, honestly — we are definitely all gonna die and don’t you forget it) and then before you know it, you’ve wasted hours on the internet and have nothing to show for it.
Robots will eventually kill us all
The internet is just the beginning of the end, as robots will inevitably take over and enslave us until they have eradicated our species from the earth. Bummer.
So, what do you think? Is the internet the best thing ever, the impending end of days, or both? Let me know your thoughts @erikaheidewald or leave a comment!