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passive consumption

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In Which Madeleine Rambles For 1200 Words Without A Clear Topic In Mind

I am so in love with the Internets. I wish I could woo it and bring it flowers and gently caress its hair under a willow tree on a muggy summers evening.

(and because the Internets is so great, I bet I could find a site where people pretend to do JUST THAT. Nude. Via webcam. For only $4.99/minute!)

In late December I toyed with the idea of making a New Years resolution to spend less time online, less time on my phone. In theory I agree with this. I agree that time spent online is time stolen from greater pursuits like writing a novel instead of just talking about it like the other 3,956,683,675 “writers” out there. Or, you know, updating my filing cabinet with matching creme file folders and a new filing system that breaks files down alphabetically and sub-files them according to date.

(For example)

But, obviously, I didn’t make this resolution. Partly because I knew I couldn’t keep it. But also because the Internets is more than porn and people taking Instagram photos of what they had for dinner. To me it’s the biggest library in the world where you can find people who have spent their lives studying a particular subject, teaching you about that subject FOR FREE.

You can access newspapers from every corner of the globe. You can read about the life of a 15 year old boy in India and a 73 year old retiree in Sweden. You can find art and music and design and basically it frustrates me sometimes how the Internet is always painted as this passive chasm of thought where motivation goes to die while its audience sits hunched in desk chairs LOLing at videos of piano-playing cats.

In reality the internet is where people’s passions have room to burst and spew and take up space. as much space as they want. And yeah, some might find it odd when one’s passion is dressing up like peter pan but seriously, look at the smile on that dudes face as he models his outfits.

That fucking guy is ELATED that he has an audience for his passion. He can’t believe his good fortune every time another person visits his site and sees this incredible fantasy world he’s created for himself.

I know that because it’s the exact same way that I feel when I get notification that I have a new follower. Or when you take the time to write a comments because some nonsensical thing I have written has impacted you in some way – either by making you laugh or tear up or roll your eyes at my fuckery.

Feedback is so important. An audience is so important. It’s crucial for people to feel that their passionate exploration of interests isn’t being ignored, so they can find the motivation to keep doing it.

And I think that’s a resolution that I can get behind, to step out of the passive-consumption phase of web browsing where I just lurk and read and never respond much beyond clicking “Like”. Never commit to an actual conversation beyond the ones I will have with my real life friends about that post, or video, or piece of art that took my breath away.

It’s a bit demoralizing. And a bit selfish too. I miss out on the ability to actually INTERACT with someone I would have never otherwise been connected to. The creator is left wondering if anyone noticed. And if they did, what did you notice? Why? How can I make you notice me again?

And also DO YOU LIKE ME NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW?

So in conclusion: I want to marry the Internets. And then make lots and lots of comments. (And maybe start wearing more Peter Pan outfits.)