A Country of the Mind

I have been posting here for a few days now, and yet no one is commenting or even viewing these posts.  That is unsurprising.  No one knows I have returned here.  I started this over two years ago, posted on it twice, and then abandoned it like so many bloggers do.  One of the previous posts, the first one, I have hidden out of sheer embarrassment.  Both posts, though, received views and subsequent comments.  The reason why:  I linked to it on my Facebook page, where the online community now by and large exists.

If I had misgivings about Facebook two years ago, those feelings are now overt.  I hate Facebook interactions; they are brief and deeply unfulfilling (if one can even be “deeply unfulfilled”).  Facebook has only grown these last two years.  The online community still exists there—nice try Google+—and the truly ironic/shitty thing about this renewed effort of mine is that if I want others to see this then the most effective move I can make is to reactivate my Facebook account and post a link there.

I think I’m ok with that.

In order to explain why, it helps to consider the brief history of the Internet since its popularization in the early 90’s.  If one takes the time to read the writings of various Gen Xers—probably a group of people more genuinely tech-savvy than any generation before or since—then a new perspective of the Internet is gained.  In many ways, the analogy of the Internet being a new frontier is not undeserved.  As we have seen recently, the Internet has the previously unmatched ability to resist the powerful influences of corporations and government. Like a frontier town, laws are more merely suggestions, and our existence is what we will make of it. The Internet has always been, and always will be, what humanity wills it to be.

The point is that what we as a species want of the Internet has changed before and will change again.  Facebook will die.  It will.  At one time the Internet community existed largely on AOL, then Myspace.  Some are even speculating that the new incarnation of the Internet is already taking form, waiting in the wings to kill the King.  I personally think the network of 800 million users that comprises Facebook will fracture significantly into something that more resembles the way we exist in real life.

In essence, the Internet is only links, and if it is to change—if we are to pack up and move on—then links must be made from one forum to another.  If it is not obvious enough, my needs for use of the Internet are not met by Facebook.  Facebook interactions are far too brief, and—perhaps this is the most naïve thing I will write tonight, but lord I hope it is not so—I don’t see how our interactions there can get any more brief.

A meaningful connection with others requires extended narrative thought, the only reality you have access to.  Make it what you want it to be.

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