I am usually busy doing something—reading a newspaper, checking email, making a call, doing work—when I’m waiting on a line or commuting to or from work. I rarely just space out or close my eyes or busy myself in nothing. But I recently found myself not wanting to do any work and I’d already done whatever else I normally do in the course of a go-go day. What I did next, I suspect, is what many people do — I just randomly searched for things online.
Maybe it starts out with a visit to a friend'sFacebook page. Then you decide to track down someone you haven’t spoken to in a decade. You scan the news online and check a sports score, stock quote, or watch a video someone sent you. This is just the tip of it.
Then you start to just type in miscellaneous crap—
Is Andy Rooney dead? (He is).
Elvis songs, 1973.
Starting Mets team, 1986.
Things to do in Philadelphia.
After seeking anything mildly connected to your life, your interests, or your needs, you start surfing the erotic, the weird, the trivial. One search then leads you into others, and so on and so on. Now you are lost in the vast void of useless information.
It’s interesting how specific some searches can become. I can’t believe the depth the Internet categorizes, files, and lists when it comes to mundane facts or baseless opinions.
The internet has an answer for everything, from “best restaurant in Oregon” to “shortest person to dunk” to “ugliest dog, 2007.” When it comes to sexuality, porn of every type is available, not to mention Top 10 lists such as “best breasts in Hollywood, natural” or “best male butts.”
To the surfing proficient, this is not news. But what is interesting is how the digital world first sought to capture the physical world and then, upon doing that, it now has created a whole new world of digital content—tweets, blogs, videos, Web sites—that now need to somehow be tagged, organized, and shared.
The world is getting bigger by the second, at the click of a button. But the more there is to search for, the less satisfying each search seems. Why is that?
It’s getting harder to shock us. Barriers of all kinds are broken with every video that shows sex, violence, life, death and the extreme activities one can take part in. All of life prior to the past few years seems rated G by comparison. It’s not bad nor good. We can’t just keep watching car wrecks as if they are without consequence. The internet has turned everything into cartoon violence. The internet has turned everything into cartoon violence but in reality, people do bleed, die, hurt, cry, and suffer. You wouldn’t know it when you are online.
Do people search online for answers to deeper questions:
What’s the meaning of life?
Is there life beyond Earth?
Where do we go after we die?
How can we have world peace?
Instead, all we get is:
Are Kim Kardashian’s breasts real?
Who is James Franco sleeping with?
Miley Cyrus twerking video?
Any resource could be used wisely or stupidly. Any object can be used to further a life or kill it. Any idea can be taken to support good—or corrupted into supporting evil. The Internet is a tool for geniuses and dumbasses. Which one are you?
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, Media Connect, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013
Excerpt: Animal Liberation: New Revised Edition by Peter Singer
“Do I really do my share when it comes to protecting animals? Perhaps animal liberation is also human liberation. Animals should be seen as independent sentient beings, not here merely as a means to a human ends. We cannot let speciesism go unchecked.”
“What do we do about animals who may cause harm to humans? Should we intervene to make sure animals don’t kill each other? Can plants feel pain or do they possess human-like qualities?”
“Experimentation on animals must be banned, but at what price to humans?”
“Our diets and fashions must be changed, but at what price to humans?”
“Our attitudes towards humans – and non-humans – must change on a grand scale. We can no longer defend animal slavery.”
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