Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Fear, loathing and angst for sale, or really, for free

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

The internet is ruining everything good in this life. How else would I be sharing my burgeoning yoga crushes (um, so this is awkward, last night I scooted to the front of the class and found myself smiling an awful lot and twice tossing my bangs for her) with a veritable ocean of readers (let’s pretend more than two people read this, one of them being my mom, again, awkward)? How else would I have made several virtual friends (and honestly like them more than most people I’ve met in a while)? How else would I feel comfortable crying, whining, contemplating on a page that will exist long after the duty of being ironic and in a city and hopeless stops being modestly cool? And finally, how else would I be pushed into one uncompromising position after the next (hey, I’m not complaining, it’s interesting to say the least) and get away with exclaiming that it’s not my fault?

I could not be this obnoxious twenty or even five years ago. I would not have expected the world, been so selfish and self-serving, fueled and invigorated by the clique, the one-massed mind, would not have thought I could own everything I see, like everyone does. The pie is finite, we forget. But our electronic connection is not. These things are at odds.

There was no platform like this before now. No immediacy before emotions cool and no thought to igniting blog wars, jealousies, measurements by who we are because of how we gauge others, our myspace friend count, our visibility in gossip rags. No barometer in link form, where the new society is who is trash-talking the best, spilling their guts more, who has the balls to be hated in order to become loved. We are a generation of ankle-biting slackers, we created our own self-loathing and moved to ‘billionsburg’, we want our music to be too obscure to share with the masses, our styles controversial and unflattering, our mannerisms even in earnest are name-calling, put-downs and bored. Our inadequacies are laughable by our own design. We hate money and beauty to garner both, maybe unknowingly, maybe not.

We know too much about our competition, we felt fine until we could read so much about how successful or happy everyone else has become. Now job searches include profiling profiles; the people in charge can’t understand how we could tell everyone what we think of them all of the time and we can’t imagine a world where we don’t. It’s too lonely. It’s too fading into the relief. It’s too scary to imagine that no one knows us, or worse, that no one cares.

We want to be talked about, or else our lives aren’t worth living. I blame the internet, not myself or my friends or my fellow bloggers better and worse; not the people behind the refreshed pages of Jossip, Pingoat, the curled edges of Page Six, no, not them, but instead their institutions for this. Technology, society, You Tube, New York is to blame! (I like to lay blame, just not at my own feet, cool?). We weren’t ready, we weren’t mature enough to handle it all, we didn’t realize what we were doing just because we were stupid and young and full of angst. Our parents got to drop acid and move on.

But our journey floats forever, is googled forever, our bad poetry read forever…

And my lasting thought is this:

I cringe to think that someday, my kids will be reading these words. They’ll hate me, of course, because I exist, but even more I wonder if they’ll feel a special kind of horror. One in which they understand exactly what I’m talking about…


Anonymous said...

Ha. Funny! And well-said. We're all just a bunch of posturing animals. And it's kind of fun...right?

You know, wanting to be loved by the world and not at all, realizing we aren't special, etc...

Wait, that sucks! I hate you world! You did this to me! You made me this way!


Alissa said...

...we felt fine until we could read so much about how successful or happy everyone else has become.

Truer words have never been spoken. And that is why I had to greatly cut down on the amount of time I spent online. I like my world better when I see it through my eyes, not the eyes of The Collective Internet.