I have noticed that I get far more views, likes, comments and followers from blog posts that talk about Harry Potter, internet fandoms and cats than I do from posts about the failing of our systems, the inevitable destruction of our species through global warming, the education system, or my want to change the planet. No one looks twice at a blog about fighting for the survival of the human race and the environment. But heck, if there is a funny cat involved, the eyes of the internet are on me. Don’t you think there’s something wrong with that? What am I supposed to do, stop writing about my passions and start writing fanfiction about ridiculous shippings of fictional characters? Would that bring my blog more popularity?
Next question: Do I give a shit if that will bring me more popularity? No. I don’t. I’ll keep writing about the important things in life. But will anyone listen? Will anyone tune in to something that doesn’t distract them from reality? The internet is not being used to it’s full potential. It is being used as an escape, a theme park for procrastination, and a way of filling the holes in people’s hearts that reality has left over. Yes, I love cats. Yes, I love Harry Potter. But do I think we should be spending our lives glued to a screen displaying history’s most incredible communication tool just so we can have our fix of dancing animals in sweaters? No. This could be so much more than it is.
My dad thinks I’m going to end up depressed if I keep reading the news on the internet. He thinks that all the bad things in the world will suck the hope from me. But for every horrible story I find, there is always another one glimmering with hope. There is always something to offset the misery, the pain, the brokenness, of the world. And I don’t even need to look up a picture of cats to find it. We could use the internet to learn about the world. We could use it to be inspired. We could use it to change things. We are the generation of the internet. Don’t you think we should make that title something to be proud of? I don’t want people to look back with raised eyebrows, going “yeah, they had the world at their fingertips and they used it to get into arguments about Doctor Who with strangers.” This is our chance. Let’s use it. Close the browser with the funny cats, open the browser with the article on renewable energy. Stop your youtube video of a makeup tutorial, start the video teaching you a new language. Go out and get informed. That’s what this strange pixilated form of communication is for, is it not?