Always connected in the 21st century

A Fraction of the Internet
A Visualisation of every Class C network on the Internet

Connected in the 21st century…that seems like a fair start. Today’s complaint lies with being connected 24×7! Now all my information is second-hand or through observation, but from what I’ve observed, the very notion of being connected seems to quite painful. But like a heroin needle entering a collapsed vein for the 105th time, I’m sure many of us will just be able to accept it for what it is without too much complaint. It will be like it’s not there at all, except when it’s not.

The fact that being “always online” pretty much MEANS that your lifestyle will mould itself around it which, in turn, pretty much MEANS that your life will become dependent on you being “always online”. For example, let’s take Facebook; it’s actually a marvelously run website that appears to run on a firm set of principles, but what I’m looking at is vulnerability. Facebook gives users the option to create and login to accounts on different websites, but the fact that it just gave the option to do so, has resulted in so many users just connecting these accounts is in my opinion, a grave misjudgment on the part of the Facebook administrative staff. The fact is that Facebook will not be around forever and likewise, how do any of us know that the internet will be around forever? What if the internet connections in our homes just stop functioning?

Let’s also consider devices or services that need an “always online” status to function correctly: we had the farce that was the Xbox One announcement, wherein executives pretty much marketed this cargo container of a device as being anti-consumer where one of the biggest faults was that it wanted a constant internet connection to even function correctly. But despite my inherent hatred for what Microsoft tried to do, was is not possible is that they were just trying something new? I figure it was in its implementation and in the fact that Microsoft’s lousy attempt at dictatorship fell flat on its face, that many of us now – me included – fear the implications in being online at all times.

The fact that internet today is largely being used as a tool to do the same things we could already do, but faster and with more convenience, as OPPOSED to actually doing something different is one of the main problems backing the “always online-ophobia”. Facebook doesn’t do anything we couldn’t do anyway with “Vine” or YouTube. But because so many of us have comfortably and foolishly integrated our lives into the internet, the prospect of something different is almost toxic and hard to deal with.

If we are, however, going to bring the real world into the virtual world, I think it’s time we bring in a little rustic philosophy. The very nature of life is to change, sometimes these changes may not be altogether comfortable in their “implementation” – take an earthquake for example – but the result is that the landscape has changed, and whether the change is positive or not is up to the viewer. All that internet-users have to remember, is that their online lives are not the same as their offline lives, and neither is one cocooned within the other. Change is painful and granted, sometimes greed outweighs need; but the clichéd reminder stays: “Look up from your smartphones and see the sky” For there is a world out there, but it doesn’t have to be superior or inferior to the “other” world – and vice versa.

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