That’s one I’ve pondered long and often. I remember when the Internet was a baron place, littered here and there with outposts of culture, art, music and the leftfield. It’s different now.
Everything is here. It’s all online. As I get older, I’m finding myself trying to distance myself from it all; I have this idea that keeps nagging at me – that sort of sits above and dictates a lot of what I do; that when we were kids, before all this, we managed. We were happy. We had no internet, no black mirrors. Yet we had fun, had friends, had adventures.
I look at my kids and they have fun, they have friends, they have adventures. But they look inwards. Their socialising takes place on a Discord channel with headphones on; all talking at once. Their adventures take place in whatever the latest RPG or open-world game du-jour is.
Which is fine, probably. The entire modern, capitalist world is bent on the idea that this progress must continue, and we must embrace it. In many ways, we must, lest we be left behind.
But….surely, in my spare time – away from my desk – I can try and get back to that idea of real-world, offline experience. Make art. Read books. Walk up a hill. Can’t I?
But eventually, I always come back here.
Though I’m getting better, more disciplined. I’ve deleted all of the surplus apps from my phone; even removed the ability to browse the web (as much as Apple will allow). I barely look at much on the internet now, aside from a few blogs I check, answering an urgent question here and there (how old is Zendaya?), and poking my head into Instagram once a week (the browser version is awful, so very difficult to doom-scroll) – I find myself quite detached.
But I wrestle with this need to have a presence. A place. My flag in the sand. I like to think it’s because I bought the domain years ago and it needs to be put to use, but I think it’s more than that. I keep a journal, writing in it daily – which is cathartic but necessary, but I have the god-awful urge to share.
Is it a hangup from social media? Or just human nature? Maybe I should google it…
I’m not sure there is a difference between this and writing in my journal to be honest, aside from the fact that I can post music and videos and stuff. I really do like the idea of keeping a sort of permanent record; photos, ideas, art and just stuff I need to get off my chest. I’m not bothered if anyone reads it, and I instinctively turned off the comments almost immediately after setting the site up. No offence if you happen to be reading this and fancied a chat. Move on. Nothing to see.
I like the idea of shouting into the void, but I don’t really know why.
Cover image by The Blowup on Unsplash