I’m on a Criminal Minds binge. There is an interesting episode called “The Internet is Forever” near the end of Season 5. If you are unfamiliar with the show, each episode begins and ends with a quote from some philosopher or influential mind. The closing quote in this episode suggests that the Internet is an experiment in anarchy. Here is the full text of the quote:
“The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” – Eric Schmidt
Yes, ironically that quote is from Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google (aka. Alphabet Inc). It is so profoundly accurate it sparks many thoughts of just how much anarchy the Internet is creating. I decided on this topic on the 25th of January and since that day I witness nearly daily examples. It’s equal parts frightening and uncanny.
The Internet has Made Us All Sociopaths
I wish I could say I am exaggerating. Surely there are not daily examples of Internet induced anarchy. How often is there a story on the news where someone’s behavior was the result of a post on social media? How many suicides or suicide attempts are the result of cyber bullying? If you don’t want to think about it then how about a couple of examples. Tide Pods. The cinnamon challenge. The Bird Box challenge. People are lemmings! Yes, people did stupid things in the 80’s and 90’s, before Facebook, but it wasn’t as widespread. The consequences were more prolific because it made the news.
Unfortunately anarchy has become the social norm; and I blame Social Media. Everyone feels so indemnified by the facelessness of Twitter and even Facebook (ironic, I know). We’ve all become sociopaths because we post things on the various forms of social media with a complete lack of conscious. People don’t care who they harm, all they care about is what’s trending. A perfect example is this “Fyre Festival” thing that Hulu has been advertising. It shows just how dangerous social media can be. I don’t think Billy McFarland is a criminal, I think it’s hilarious that those people got what they deserved.
The Internet is now the digital mountain top from which people scream their opinions thinking the rest of us care. I admit that some people do care and many agree. However, what makes it absolutely absurd are the people who are trying to promote tolerance and inclusion are first to demonize anyone that disagrees with them. You can’t preach inclusion but ostracize anyone that disagrees. This is as much of an example of cognitive dissonance as this entire blog post (yes, I’m fully aware of what I’ve done). I’ll openly admit that joining Facebook and Twitter has turned me into a sociopath. In retrospect, I should have avoided them completely.
I could accomplish so much more if I only had minions!