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Feel, Deal, and Heal
For some time I’ve wanted to write about the 3 ages of the internet, in a series of three posts. This is a condensed version.
Age 1. Creation.
80’s and 90’s. It’s 14.4k modems, 33Mhz PCs, 4MB RAM, MSDOS, Windows 3.1 and 95, Doom and Quake, BBS and then geocities, HTML, Netscape, Yahoo directory ‘search’ engines, Alta Vista, ICQ and MSN, IRC and Napster & Kazaa.
Before MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.
It was an internet created by nerds, creatives, artists, and makers to serve themselves, and us, kids growing up with this tech.
Age 2. Consumption.
Then came content creation and consumption. MySpace. Facebook, Twitter & IG. As much of a creator I am, I was a primary consumer of content. I left Facebook in 2004 and used Twitter and IG until about 2019.
It was a lot of content being consumed. First I unfollowed folks on IG & Twitter to clear my feeds. LinkedIn too. Empty. Nothing. Open the app, empty.
Until recently, I’m guilty of Reddit, Apple News, and YouTube. On any given day we can have a conversation on anything happening in the world, and I’d be informed. As if with each day I paint a picture of the world in my mind.
Each week I paint that weeks picture, which is part of that months picture, and that years picture, all beautifully painted in context. As much information and data as possible, from the news itself to our collective reactions to it.
The daily news consumption across Reddit & Apple News gave us a slow wave of watching covid unfold starting in December of 2019. Italy’s lockdowns, impact on markets, inflation, politics, and the broken Social Contract.
It’s a lot. It’s too much (TMI) — and I’m completely out.
I don’t want to know.
It’s time to feel, deal and heal.
And until we beam information right into our brains, we’ve peaked. 🏔️
The flaw of the consumption age
Is that the internet and it’s makers had two bad premises:
Mass adopters will use the internet like the makers & users of Age 1.
The internet will be open, fair, free, and will level the playing field for people.
Clearly this didn’t happen and instead we have by-products:
🗣️ Virtue Signals
Performative virtue of content consumers and producers. Self interest as a priority. Both of these not unlike where Big-Tech finds itself now.
🤞🏼Not purpose built
Social media as a connector was just built for networking. Period.
The free open internet mentality was ‘let’s see where it goes’ and became big-tech mantra.
This un-checked social internet left us with two big things: 1) Political electoral influence, Fascism on FB and Twitter, and 2) masses of consumers making use of Social Media to advance their Virtue Signals for social and primarily monetary gain.
💰 Shopping Channel Syndrome
Which leads us to everyone selling something. Going through the internet is like walking through an ancient Bazaar with everything on sale. From YouTube to celebrities, content creators and influencers on IG.
A massive-crowd-sourced-self-documentation phase of everything— while at the same time attempting to capitalize and hustle with every tweet, publication, story, TikTok or YouTube video.
The majority attempting to mimic the creators of age 1 and age 2, with the flawed premise that everyone can (or should) be a celebrity, entrepreneur and thought leader to get that bag.
Or believing they should do it in the same way.
And this is the bottom of the capitalization barrel.
Age 3. Purpose.
Coming Up in Part 2: on AI ending the Information Age and what is possible given a purpose driven internet combined with our collective civic opportunity.
Feel, Deal, Heal.