The other day, Pinterest presented me with a highly compelling quiz: Why Are You Still Single? “Please, Internet. Give me your wisdom on this predicament I face on a daily basis. Teach me!” And so it did. I dutifully responded to the questions, and this is the loving, sincere, honest answer I got….
(If you can’t read it, it says, “You’re happy being single. You’re an independent, incredibly focused person, who is out-of-this-world awesome. There’s nothing wrong with being by yourself, and you totally get that. So keep enjoying the single life and chasing after those big dreams, because you’re a shining, radiant star.”)
Uh-huh. Yes. Yes! My thoughts exactly! How, Internet? How did you know I was out-of-this-world awesome? Without actually meeting me, how did you know that I was a shining, radiant star? I feel so understood, on a personal level! We should do this again in the near future. I have a really good feeling about this. <3
Okay, so obviously I understand that the Internet isn’t a real person. As a Millennial, I’ve lived 100% of my life with it, so we may have a different relationship than those of previous generations. Lol I can’t stop personifying it. THE INTERNET IS NOT A PERSON. IT CANNOT THINK OR FEEL. IT HAS NO EMOTIONS.
Humans that publish content on the Internet understand that we as a society have come to accept the Internet as one of us, and that we’re all in a long-term (lifelong) relationship with him or her. I mean it. Therefore, some humans that publish content on the Internet (why am I still capitalizing it?) strive to keep the fire burning by flattery and endless feeding into exactly what we want to hear, based on algorithms that identify our opinions, interests, dreams, and deepest secrets. They get us because they know us on a seemingly intimate level.
I feel weird about that.
The ambiguous nonentity of the internet (not capitalized) knows pretty much everything there is to know about me… because I told it. I have fed it all my information of my own free will and choice. It knows that I don’t like Donald Trump, so it obligingly puts cat faces on his face whenever someone has the gall to post a photo of him. It knows I’m a teacher, so it kindly gives me ads for Teachers Pay Teachers or other such helpful teacher websites. Thank you, dear friend! (Did I just say that? The internet is not my friend.)
So I’m okay with the internet feeding into my interests and stuff. That’s not a big deal. But I think the danger comes when we allow ourselves to live in this almost alternate-reality of an existence, where everything is catered to personal preference, and bias is omnipresent.