There’s No Such Thing As The Internet

I’ve been hearing this word a lot recently.  I don’t know how it happened, but it’s all over the place.

“The Internet,” they call it.

I don’t remember a time this word was used as much as it is today.

People usually use it like this:

“Man, people on the internet stink!”

Or: “Hey, what do you expect?  It’s the internet, bro.”

And sometimes, you’ll get the ol’: “The internet is a sick, sick place.”

Yep, those are some of the classics.

When people talk about the internet, they usually mean, I guess, that the websites they go to are full of mean, nasty people.

Lotsa times, “the internet” comes in the form of comments.  If you go to YouTube, you’ll see a whole bunch of “internet”.  Reddit too.  Blogs.  News sites.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Yep, it seems like the “internet” is everywhere these days.  Like a massive blob, it oozes its way to the different places we inhabit online and seems to ruin or entire experience.

And it’s not just known for nasty comments.  It’s known for conspiracy theories, racism, antisemtiism, pure dark, dirty hate.

Damn that internet.

A lot of people tend to just throw up their hands when they encounter the internet.  Like I quoted earlier, they just kind of say, “Well, what do you expect?  It’s the friggin internet.”

Indeed, it seems we’ve come to accept, sometimes even encourage, the existence of this internet.  We assume it’s some sort of natural law of the universe that the websites we go to have to be inhabited by “trolls” and other nasty creatures (the soldiers of the internet).  Like Sauron, the internet has become this dark presence that sends out those  evil denizens into our midst, and we’re just little tiny Hobbits running for our lives.

Except here’s the thing: that’s all a bunch of bull.

Yeah you heard me.

This mythical creature known as “the internet” is just as fake as Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy or Abe Lincoln.  It’s a myth, a construct, that we use to try to make sense of the insanity of the websites we visit.

“But, but, but… how can you say that?!  Don’t you see the trolls on YouTube?  Don’t you see the people invading every blog?  Don’t you see the darkness?”

Yes, friends, I see it.  I understand your worries.  But, please, bear with me.

See, what I mean to say here isn’t that there isn’t darkness or trolls or all that business.

What I’m saying is that this idea that “the internet” is a big, nasty mess of insanity that has this unending power… no.  That’s simply not true.

So what is really happening?  If there is no internet, then what is there?

Well, it’s very simple really.

It’s a little thing we like to call “the world.”  Or, if you prefer, “reality”.  Or, if you want to get more specific, you could say, “people”.

Yep, that’s all all this mess is.  Just the way the world works, transported onto our computers.

See, right now all the websites and the blogs and the YouTubes and Reddits… they’re all what we would call in the real world, “anarchy”.  They’re unpoliced, uncontrolled, with no leaders or guiding forces of morality.

Ever hear of a country like that in the world that didn’t descend into a cesspool of filth?  Ever hear of a country that allowed people to do whatever they wanted and wasn’t dominated by the evil warmongering trolls of the world?

See, I run a blog myself (as you can see) and a Facebook page, and I do online marketing.  As the popularity of the things I’ve worked on has grown, I’ve noticed one thing: it’s up to me to make sure that things are kept in tip-top shape.  I have to encourage people to stay positive, discourage personal attacks, and, at times, wipe out Sauron’s forces with my staff of ending power called “Moderation”.

Yep, it’s all in a day’s work for a leader of a tiny hobbit village.

But unfortunately, most of the people in the world seem to think that because a village or tribe is on the computer instead of in front of their faces, that somehow all the rules have changed.  How silly.

And so, we have our YouTubes.  Our places of destruction and death and anarchy.  Our places where the trolls roam free, and the good folks hide in their huts.

The good news is that people are starting to realize this truth.  More and more websites are becoming moderated, guided, led.  More and more people are realizing that this fake idea that “more interaction is always good” is simply not true.  And more and more people in the “audience” are choosing not to spend their time in the the anarchic villages.

Yep, the forces of good are mobilizing.  And the more we combine our forces to lead ourselves into a new future of leadership on our websites and blogs, the more that the world, both offline and online will improve.  Because at the end of the day, there’s no difference.





13 responses to “There’s No Such Thing As The Internet”

  1. Bentzy Avatar

    This post as well as many of your post, including your “Artist” ones, “How to actually change the world” etc., really deal with the most basic and elemental question which is the basis of most discussion in the Free World and that is: is there an absolut, objective, unmovable right/wrong or are we just cosmic “mistakes” and therefore our feelings should be the ultimate and only barometer so long as we don’t infringe on the “rights” (Freedom? Feelings? Property?) of another (Person? Animal?).

    This is the underlying argument between the political Right/Left and social Religious/Secular.

    Maybe it’s time for an article specifically on this underlying issue? 🙂

    1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

      Bah. I don’t think it’s that simple. I really don’t believe in left vs. right. Yes, that is one issue. But much of the artist ones are more on the “left” side in the sense that we need to give ourselves more agency.

      But I hear what you’re saying in the sense that I often am trying to say something deeper than I can with a specific post, so I appreciate that insight. The Holocaust post came after I realized that I kept posting Holocaust pics in my picture posts, and realized I should just do one about that. So… I guess I should shut up and listen to you, eh?

      1. Bentzy Avatar

        Yes, I agree the the “art articles” seem to be more on the “left” but that depends on the definition of “freedom of expression within religion”, which I think is something that was touched upon in the comments to your previous post.

        Ok, let’s not talk about Right/Left, let’s talk about Believers and Non-believers (Liberals/Conservatives). For those two parallel groups that’s really what it boils down to: is there an objective Right and Wrong or not.

        And yes, I would enjoy reading your take on precisely that point. Is there a need for “objective truth”, “objective morality”, “objective right/wrong”, or as long as you don’t harm another do whatever the heck you want?

        Just to give you an idea, check out this article:

  2. Anon Avatar

    by abusing your mod power for censorship, you have put on the ring of power. no one is strong enough to overcome its corruption. even you.

    1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

      My precious…

      1. Rebecca Klempner Avatar
        Rebecca Klempner

        I just love it!

        I recently dealt with this issue when a blogger I admire a lot complained about the Reading Police keeping kids from books. I stepped up to the plate and admitted to be an unrepentant Reading Policewoman. Not a popular position, apparently, as the comments mostly agreed with the blogger.

        Maybe it’s a consequence of the last century, which faced so many evil totalitarian governments–not just Hitler, but Stalin, Mao, and the like–who controlled the arts.

        1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

          Yes, I think a lot of it is reactionary. People hear “censorship” and they jump like someone is trying to take away their rights. But every society needs a certain amount of rules, and to deny that is, as you say… a reaction.

  3. leftbrainfemale Avatar

    You have become a “must read” for me since an Instapundit link a few weeks ago. You are so right – it’s just become too easy for folks to refuse to take responsibility for what they put out there (or take from) “the internet”. As a “for instance” – I stay on top of my teens FB accounts and what they post. They’re typical – enjoy a lot of silly YouTube stuff and like to share. Recently one posted a link to the videos of the kids smashing gallons of milk and orange juice on store floors. I explained to said child in no uncertain terms that this was not a laughing matter, it was destructive and harmful to businesses and should in no way be laughed or winked at. I may not be Jewish, but I can dish out guilt with the best of ’em. Said child immediately removed post. Parents need to be involved and help their children and teens to mature and understand why some things are simply not acceptable. When we refuse to “police” our own, we’re as good as saying “anything goes”.

    1. Elad Nehorai Avatar

      Wow, very interesting. I totally hear that analogy to parenting, and I agree that it’s a general attitude that applies to all things. Very good point. @twitter-185819561:disqus above mentioned something similar, that this is deeper than just the internet, as well. Making me think over here…

      Also, glad to hear you’re reading here after the link from Instapundit. I have no idea what that site is, but 10,000 people came from there, so it must be good!

      1. leftbrainfemale Avatar

        Thinking is a good thing 🙂 and it’s why I’ve added you to my blog reading list!

  4. Nisan Vile Avatar
    Nisan Vile

    In a way you’re totally right. The internet is amoral. But in another way The internet, and especially social networking, youtube, etc. are actually the true democracy of the world. There has never been a time in history when people had such freedom of speech. The power of user-generated content these days is unbelievable. When you see something beautiful or kind on youtube, you know that it’s not just some company trying to get your attention so they can make more money, it’s real.

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