Dead Internet Theory?

The idea that the modern internet is mostly made up of programmed bots and Disney employed Indians is no doubt comforting. After all, the internet is objectively worse than it was a few years ago. Less websites, less freedom, less wonder. But I think this theory paints a prettier picture than what we actually have. It is true that there is more online manipulation than ever before, there are bots, some being primitive forms of “A.I.” and others being real human beings that simply follow a script while inputting commands on dozens of devices at the same time, but the only reason such bots can exist is because the average human being who uses the internet today is no more interesting or intelligent than a chatbot, many of them being actually a lot less interesting than a chatbot. Can you really tell the difference between a fan of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, talking about how much they loved that scene where Hulk shit his pants, and someone being paid to do the same? I can’t. And I think that’s the primary reason why the internet feels dead, the people on it are worse than they’ve ever been and that allows for bots to blend in all the better, but the bots are not the actual issue. The people are the problem.

So why are the real people online, the ones who aren’t robots or who aren’t being paid slave wages to perform crowd control, so much worse than they used to be? I think it’s because the people offline are also worse than they’ve ever been before. I don’t believe we’re in the endtimes, because I don’t believe in endtimes, but I do think we’re in one of those bleak periods that inevitably ends in mass conflict, but the mass conflict hasn’t started yet, the aggression and the rage hasn’t been diffused in bloodshed and chaos, instead, it’s just simmering, it’s heating itself up for the eventual boiling. People in the present moment are unhinged, they’re stressed out, they’re unhappy, they’re angry, and when you have all of that piled on top of your brain, your brain really doesn’t work that well. A stressed out smart guy typically doesn’t make very good decisions, and a stressed out stupid guy almost always makes incredibly bad decisions. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who’s fuming? Whose face is red and they’ve just been slamming their head into a wall? It’s less so much about exchanging interesting ideas and getting to the root of the problem, and more just about trying to let them incoherently vent in a safe way that will get all that insanity out of them so they can go back to being normal, and then once normal they can solve their problems. But society isn’t trying to let people calm down, society isn’t providing a safe space for people to express their opinions and describe their problems, society is adding fuel to the fire, and the internet is no different.

People come home from their jobs, or their college classes, or whatever it is that they do when they’re not online, and then they get online and they experience the same hyper aggressive self-serious attitudes on YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, 4chan, and every other website which is exactly the same in terms of content, that they do while they’re out in the world. Long gone are the days of going on YouTube to watch a teenager named Fred talk like he just inhaled helium while doing pratfalls, in their place are the times of watching three-hour-long livestreams where a guy unenthusiastically playing video games tells you what the right opinions on Abortion are. To cut things short, the internet is no longer fun, the internet is no longer a place of joy, it’s now primarily made up of people who want it to be very serious business. What was once a source of escapism, has become an extension of reality, and when reality sucks, anything connected to it is also going to suck. The internet isn’t dead, it’s just lame. It doesn’t have to be this way, hopefully it wont be in the future, but as long as people are lame, and they bring their lameness online, it’s gonna be lame.

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