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comment by BrainBurner
BrainBurner  ·  2222 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Stephen Fry's Blog post on Social Media.

I stopped reading after this:

    Well maybe. But I’m going to suggest that if I was young now, my proudest boast would be: ‘My friends and I, we disappeared ourselves. No social media, no email, no chat, no wifi, no selfies, no SMS, no smartphones. We did it. We did this thing. We Got Off The Grid.’

    Why should anyone want to dissociate themselves from all that connectedness, fun, convenience, reach and power? Well, because it would be – and I can’t be bothered to search for a better word and anyway perhaps there isn’t one – awesome.

I skimmed the rest to see if he expanded on this idea, but I was disappointed. Instead, this is what I got out of it:

As if I haven't posted this enough already.

So he's advocating that we ditch anything involving online communication, just to rebel? Because... it's awesome? What a nonsensical and unproductive load of hooey. Being a rebel for the sake of being a rebel isn't awesome. It's dumb.

I mean I get it, lots of what happens online today is frivolous and probably even harmful. In my opinion, people under 30 today are far too caught up in social media. Most people are stupid and lazy. They're going to use the Internet for the lowest common denominator content , and they're going to be exploited via it. But that's always been the case with any technology, whether that be the printing press, radio, TV or the Internet.

I still think more good than harm comes from it being online, and I think my life is improved by it. I get my news online, I read enlightening articles and conversations on Hubski, I can discover new and free music on any number of websites, and I can indulge my random interests on reddit. Why would I give that up just because of the bad stuff on the Internet?

(Normally I like to just ignore these types of articles, but this one was particularly asinine.)

ThatFanficGuy  ·  2222 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    So he's advocating that we ditch anything involving online communication, just to rebel? Because... it's awesome?

He's advocating we ditch the so-called Internet presence because the alternative is by far more heartfelt and emotionally-satisfying. He argues that there is much more joy in talking to people face to face than there is in talking to the fictional names online (like we're doing at this very moment).

While I agree with those two ideas, I, too, find it a lot like rambling of an old man. While he does talk of a part of the picture, as is often the case with essays like this, it feels like he's intentionally leaving out the great traits of the Internet - and I assume intention because a person as clever as Stephen Fry simply can not skim over it mindlessly and leave with a single, solid and unbased opinion. It's not impossible to survive without the Internet, and there are a lot of things one might interest themselves in offline, it provides great opportunities on its own, like instant communication or shared knowledge (alike encyclopedias). Judging by the blog post, though, it is as if those things don't exist; as if the Internet is all about social networking and ads (which are now easily blockable, as he, a tech-savvy person a long way, should very well know). Feels hypocritical, coming from a person letting his thoughts out onto his own website's blog, for people all over the world to read regardless of race, age, gender or social status.

I'm not defending the Internet, nor am I judging it. It's a great tool, but that's all it is: a tool. A knife can be used to chop carrots or to kill people, and we don't protest pleeding to ban knives. I'm sure there are some fucked-up things people do with knives, but it doesn't make the knives any less useful as far as their intended purpose - interconnection of the world, making sharing information a lot easier - is concerned. You can post selfies online or you can dig up Wikipedia articles to learn about things. You can shitpost in Twitter or you can discuss what's clearly a thoughtful article of a single person a huge physical distance away from either of the discussants. You can choose what to do, and that's both the beauty and the beast of it.