A computer used to be a portal to a mystery world. A world of promise, connection, and fortune.
In the early days of personal computing and computer networks, people found social acceptance they didn’t find at school or work. They played games, learned things, and made money online. The looming threat of AI apocalypse was very present, but it was vastly overshadowed by the new capabilities computing provided us.
It opened a portal to new possibilities. That portal grew into a whirlwind. It sucked in everything under the sun. Nothing has escaped the networked world. We hold it in the palm of our hands and it sucks at our faces.
And look at us now. What initially felt like the Great Hope, the next big thing, has completely taken over our lives. We’re networked, content-saturated, distracted, and alone. Is it anything new? Or just the same old human shapes on a new canvas?
The personal computer gave the layman hope that one day, he could touch the stars. But the corporate beast took notice and built the world we have today: Huxley’s House of Horrors.
Something about it feels so perverse. Was this what they imagined back then? Did we want more content than you could ever ask for? Did we dream up an economy of amateurs posing as celebrities for marginal payouts, trolls and bots fishing for clicks, and brands AB testing our attention spans every waking hour of the day?
How dare they twist those beautiful creations, those brilliant ideas of infinitude and eternity, those divine dreams of reason into this? So much processing power dedicated to uselessness, meaninglessness, fluff, sludge, goop, shit. Content.
And they didn’t even do us the service of giving us someone to blame. The Internet is a public utility, but it’s patrolled by private giants. They escape regulation, and the gaps have no faces. In some ways, it’s a wasteland just waiting for the waste to come pouring in.

What is the true content of life? Can you store any of it here?

On the internet, I am an escapist. I am ethereal, for a moment, but then, again, I find, I am trapped at the tips of my fingers. The strongest part of my body, holding my inner being back from entering through the keys and into the machine.
This projection in front of me will vanish if I press the right button. The words I type are not real until the SEO value kicks in. The thoughts I have are not being recorded, just witnessed by a few pixels on their lunch break.
I want to live past the projection — to be the very thing the machine wants me to believe it can help me become. On my own. I want to reach through the screen and grab my own neck, pull myself through, and live happily ever after on the other side.
There’s no innocent way to use the internet anymore. It’s not a place for photo dumps, catching up with old friends, or meeting new ones. We’re all here to make something happen. Not just anything, the thing that WE were meant to make happen. The thing that only we can make happen.
I want to make the thing that only I can make happen, happen.
There’s no collection of bits and bytes that will take me closer or further to that thing. No tweet’s going to change my life, and no YouTube video is going to help me see things that differently. No Instagram post or TikTok will help me feel more love when I die. Rich as they all may seem, they abound in trivia.

It’s as analog as it ever has been. Technology is a tool, and that’s it. We use it when we need to and put it down when we’re ready for true connection. Haha? (nervous)

Well, that’s nice. So where can we go? And, What can we write? I am not a genius and I never have been. I’m someone who needs to take myself a little less seriously, to be honest, and wake up tomorrow to follow the plan.
Is this machine still the portal it once was? Can I access my dreams from here? Or are they still out there somewhere, waiting for me to escape the whirlwind, and come give them a tender kiss on the cheek?

The internet used to be filled with people. Now it’s filled with things. Someone’s always selling something. The question in my mind now is whether that’s inherent to the way it works. When you power on the pocket beast and take yourself online, is there ever a time when you’re not selling something? Or looking to be sold to? It’s become part of our language.
Convince me you’re worthwhile, machine. I’ll try the same. We’ll have a duel and it will all be OK because maybe this is hell, and perhaps anything goes in a place like this.

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