Let’s be frank, the internet, the world wide web, social media are by far the craziest elements of human existence. There is this thing that isn’t tangible in reality but has the unwavering ability to hold a dominant level of control over our lives. An immeasurable collection of 1’s & 0’s, an extensive collection of wires, metal and glass, in addition to a language that allows one to talk to another and hey presto! You have the online world.
I guess to understand the online world you have to see it for what it truly is, behind the social media, the search engines, the trillions of lines of code and the ghastly amounts of money which have been invested.
At its core, its real purpose is to connect.
Connect computers, connect individuals to information, connect families across the world. I guess it might seem like I’m going out on a limb on this one but hear me out.
The lines between the online, offline reality we are finding ourselves in are more blurred than ever before. My brother recently brought an electric toothbrush which shows you via an app the percentage of teeth you have brushed. Granted, I’ve never seen him more eager to brush his teeth, but that’s not the point, I was confused as to why he needed to take such a simple activity and complicate it by introducing technology.
In hindsight, I realise he needs to feel a tangible sense of connection to his brushing technique; he wants to learn about how he could improve his oral health. He didn’t want a £100 toothbrush for the sake of having the latest throwaway gadget he wanted a tool which he could use to better himself every day. The online world is the same; it can be used as a tool. 59% of the world’s population are active on the internet. The majority of us consuming the content that is drip-fed to us from the algorithms which now control what we consume.
If we are to look at the online realm as the enemy we are bound to lose; it’s one brain vs 1000’s of supercomputers, it’s over before the game is even afoot. However, if we were to view it from the perspective of a tool, a library with a wealth of knowledge to consume, to learn. Well, this would change how we approach it, we would most likely be more inclined to be a more conscious choice of the content we consume, but this is only half of the solution.
The other half is to create.
Learning is a two-fold process. Step one to digest the information. Step two is to place our spin on it to show what we are attempting to understand. In a classroom, there is one teacher, in the online space, there are 4.57 billion people. If we can capture the attention of 0.0001%, 4570 people, who are willing to provide feedback on our content. The number of differing perspectives on our work could significantly aid our growth and understanding of the domains we are taking an interest in.
The lines are too blurred to say that technology is the enemy, but if we approach it with the mindset to learn, to use it as a tool we can utilise it to better ourselves; then the relationship might be that little bit less strained.
Has this made you think about your relationship with the internet? Let me know in the comments or drop me a message on any of the following social networks. I would love to hear from you! — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, TikTok, Youtube.