The internet is a most interesting place. It is populated with endless space for cats and politics and cool grandmas. No question, it has brought the world closer together. It has connected people who are physically separated by thousands of miles. Internet has allowed us to communicate with loved ones across the world with only a few seconds delay.
However, as we know, not everything on the web is sunshine and double rainbows. Possibly it is what another generation has called a distraction from reality. We’ve certainly all seen one or many of the multitude of articles against the internet, use of social media, being glued to your phone, the need to document every moment on instagram. We’ve certainly been told by some archive of online articles that the internet was bad for us.
I can see this as accurate. I think that, like all things, too much internet and technological dependence can be a bad thing. It can certainly be one of my biggest addictions. I often misuse the internet as fuel for my avoidance. It’s a helpful tool for procrastinating.
I have begun to see the internet a little differently. I see everything as a metaphor, so I’ve begun to compare the internet to our world. I imagine that the internet is this other dimension that we tapped into. It existed, but we found it through use of technology, and it was nothing. When we found (or created, depending on your outlook) the internet, it was empty. We have tapped into a void dimension. The InterVoid! This is Tron, in real life. Just because we can’t physically visit there doesn’t mean it isn’t an entire world of its own!
Internet dimension is infinite, like our physical universe, but it was empty when we found it. It was just a void before we started filling it with ideas. Then suddenly, we started shouting our personal ideas into the void and the void became something. It became everything we were shouting into it. The void became the Intervoid, which then became the Internet.
It is as diverse of a world as our own. Every person who posts content on the web is shaping the dimension that is the Intervoid. It’s a world that exists within our world, is entirely of itself, and yet we are its creator, because we filled it with content.
When I imagine the internet in this way, I can see how everything on the web is placed there, but also has its own persona, sparks its own conversation, is its own consciousness! We created it, but it has become its own world. As long as you have the technology to access it, you could still watch Olan Rogers talk about ghosts in the Target bathroom as if he is sitting in your living room, even though it has been years since he actually sat in his own home and recorded the video.
This Intervoid theory is an interesting idea when compared against our own physical dimension. I don’t know that the comparison stands, but it certainly is interesting. Our world was void, then suddenly, a Big Bang! Now, as we continue to populate our physical world with ideas, we grow, and so does the world with us. As we add content to our own dimension, in the form of our thoughts, words, actions, and intentions, the world we live in becomes those things– both for our shared world reality and our individual perceptions of it. The world around us is so heavily affected by us. Who’s to say we didn’t make it this way. Who’s to say we didn’t make everything?
As I mentioned earlier, the internet, and its users, have received some grief for their use. Unfortunately, the Internet fear mongering is targeted primarily toward young people’s use of the internet. When our parents’ generation uses the internet, they are considered educated. When our grandparents’ generation uses the internet they are praised for having mastered a technology that is so new and out of their time. Millennials who use the internet are condemned. None of these are fair generalizations.
But isn’t this criticism, toward any age group, defeating the whole point? Isn’t the point of the internet connection? Bridging gaps? Bringing people closer together? Accessibility to knowledge? Yet, even this tool we use to distance ourselves from each other.
I see the internet as a tool for a us to express ourselves and connect with others.
To be happy in my everyday life, I need to do two things; create and express. Luckily, I find creation in everything. In addition to the singing, writing, jewelry making, photographing and painting I do on a regular basis, I think of life as my greatest work of art. This life is my canvas. I can paint anything, I can use all the colors, I can use all my imagination to create myself and my life. Creation is not hard. Where I always struggled was finding productive ways to express myself!
I never had a hard time articulating myself. That part of expression was fine. What didn’t work was having someone listen to all my problems and crazy thoughts! I’ll admit, some of what I need to express is seemingly outlandish, over-imaginative, or unrealistic! Just read these blog posts and you’ll have that confirmed. I can be a bit off the wall. It can drive my friends and family mad. Some people will indulge me and others will fight every word I say without any possibility of knowing how to talk about the impossible.
This is all true for the internet too, but only if people can find your posts. Otherwise, all of us bloggers, video makers, graphic artists, and witty tweeters are just shouting into the void! Think about how many of us use the internet to communicate feelings we might not otherwise share in the physical world. We are all screaming at nothingness! We are expressing ideas to a blank and empty dimension! We’re basically pouring our souls out into dark matter!
SHOUTING INTO THE INTERVOID!
But there’s another side to it. As we shout into the void, others reach out to listen. Others who have similar or fiercely differing opinions on that same thing will look it up, find your shouting, and be able to interact with it. We do this is our everyday lives too, but the audience we can collect on the internet provides us with more opportunity for diversity to blossom. The internet provides for opportunity to connect with a huge audience who thinks like you!
For this reason, I love the intervoid. I think it is exactly what I needed. I needed a place to express my crazy thoughts and explore my crazy theories! I needed someone to be able to listen to what I had to say, but I didn’t want to force it on them! I wanted to find people, other than those in my everyday life, who thought like me. I found them on the internet. The internet is great for that! Your expressions don’t have to be seen by everyone, but someone who is really looking for it will find it.
It is not void anymore. It has actually become its own place. It has become an almost tangible dimension. We can hang out there, we can learn, we can connect with others in intimate ways. But it is still infinite, and it is still being molded and shaped. Keep shouting into the intervoid! It’s changing all the time!