Proudly Geekly

Friday, May 15, 2015

Reclaiming the Internet

The Internet was supposed to be about a fearless exchange of ideas. Knowing that you might get cut down by someone with education or experience that trumps yours, and then forcing yourself to rethink everything that you hold dear. But these days, that doesn't seem to be the case. Fifteen years ago, going online was exciting... I came across as being in my 30s due to my writing with good grammar and frustration when others chose to swear or overuse modern slang.

But these days, the mystery is gone. Everyone and their mother has at least four internet profiles simply by going online. You can't live without that Facebook... Google+/YouTube, and whatever spawns from those two. I want to bring the internet back to how it was 15-20 years ago. Before all these greedy and short-sighted companies like Zynga came to make profits online without doing anything useful.

I want to work with other people to make a better world. A place where kids can play games that are both educational and entertaining without being forced to have an account on traditional social media. Social media excited me when I was in high school and college. I always jumped at the opportunity to meet like-minded people. Thus, I've kept my AIM, MSN, ICQ, YIM and Livejournal Even though the other people that used to connect with me on these dated platforms have long since moved on... I have not.

I remain in this stasis, watching the world around me. In my young teens, I was the kid with the website. was the name. Everyone knew me as someone that actually knew HTML. Whenever there was a class project that allowed a multimedia presentation... instead of making some cheesy PowerPoint presentation I would make something from my website and insert too many MIDIs. Someday the worlds will merge for good and all my hard work will pay off.

I've always gotten a lot of "views" on whatever social media I use... G+/YouThink being the most blatant of these. While I only have about 50 followers on Google+, the number of views I get on my profile compares to those with 1000 followers.  Either I have dedicated fans or people are seing my content without following me due to my clever use of hashtags and timely topics.

Earlier in my life I wanted to be a journalist... before that, a special education teacher. And as I near 30, I still don't know exactly what I want to be. But I know I will leave a big impact throughout the universe. I am not content to just be a cog in the everlasting machine. I am my own man and I refuse to be put away in a little box forever because I speak my mind.

The internet has become far too sanitized. There used to be a risk attached with going online. You could find new and relevant information to a topic at hand, or you could find yourself tricked by a well-designed website that was just the opinion of a raving and ill-informed lunatic obsessed with some particular topic to the point where the untrained eye would assume they knew what they were talking about.

I think it's time we got out of this "gotta have it now" mentality that has plagued mankind for the past decade. Everyone expects news to be out there instantly. There's no longer any patience regarding journalism, yet at the same time people decry the dishonesty of journalists. If you want timely writing that's also accurate and well-balanced, you should be patient when it comes to news stories. I think there should be more in the way of weekly papers for people to get informed. We don't need to constantly be surrounded by the news. I would like to see a world where people are still excited by new things rather than saying "Took you long enough..."

Perhaps I am alone in this, but I hope not. It's time to take the Internet back. Stop giving in to the Zynga beast. Let's download more games and stop relying on in-browser everything. In-browser games are not safer... all that really means is the graphics and gameplay are limited by your browser rather than your computer. It doesn't matter if you have a modern PC with Windows 7 and 32 gigs of ram or a netbook with 1 gig of ram... in-browser games without any downloads will still run only as quickly as Chrome/IE/Firefox can handle them.

We need to encourage people to make REAL games and less in the way of "apps". This whole touchscreen phase is frustrating. Back in the 90s, touchscreens were cool and new. You went to the science museum and using that touchscreen made everything seem fancier. Yet with modern phones and their size, the touchscreen and its method of typing seems to slow things down more often than not.

I've always been forward-thinking and excited by new technology... but enough is enough. There is too much emphasis on style and "all in one" products these days. Everyone wants that super product that seems like it came from a Star Trek episode... voice activation and connectivity to every social network known to man.

It's time we went back a bit. Why does every product need to be online constantly? Can't we take a break from this always-on world and appreciate a good book or movie? That's what I always loved about the movie theatre. Two to three hours in a dark room where there's nothing but you and a large screen.

I hope that others are with me here. I know this entry is a bit long-winded, but here's the summary. It's time to disconnect a little. The more we disconnect from the technology of the last five years, the more connected we are as people. We are the singularity. We can visit ourselves in the past. Above all else, it's time to remember. Stop rushing forward in life chasing that last rainbow... it's okay to head backward and remember the past. I used to think I had this evil dark past that I was afraid of discovering, but years later I remember many good things and no longer fear the past.

Join me, world.