The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul

January 13, 2017

The Internet is in Bad Need of a Soul

Look at your world, what is your life?

Hour after hour you spend time scrolling screens. You're on your computer scrolling through Facebook. You're on your smartphone or tablet doing the same. You're posting updates about your life to social media. Maybe you spend time streaming random moments of your life to people on the internet. All of which are actions of trying to make a connection to people. When out public you, more than you realize, never look up to make true eye contact with anyone.

Yet, the more social "reach" you get, the less of a connection you feel. Things begin to reveal and you find that none of this is real. It's just not the same as a true connection. There is no soul, no energy, behind these interactions. The internet is a black hole that takes everything in. And what it sends back out is cold data. It is not streaming consciousness. There is no emotion in the data.

Now, don't get me wrong, that's not to say that people can't make meaningful friendships and relationships over the internet, but there's going to be the need real, regular meet ups in the real world. Daily Skype conversations will never be enough. Private messaging, instant messaging, and texting will never be enough. It's as real as that. Your ties to people have to be real, sooner or later, as we're a social species and we crave interaction.

This sentiment is best defined by the quote by Kristen Stewart's character in the film Anesthesia:

"Everyone is plugged in, blindingly inarticulate, obsessed with money, their careers. Stupidly, arrogantly content. I can’t talk to them, I fight them, I want to destroy them even. I crave interaction, I crave it. But you just can’t anymore. They pull their devices out for every little thing. To reinforce their petty, convenient notions, to decide where they’re gonna shop, what they’re gonna eat, what movies they’re going to watch. Everything they ingest."

While blunt, it hits right at the core of the problem of the digital and how it fits into the rest of the "culture" of contentment. People, instead of staring into the world for discovery and interaction, they instead pull out their smartphones and other electronics to discover these things. They're completely pulled into a flat screen and it has become a large substitute for tasks that were once done with true interaction. Again, these interactions are pulled into the black hole that is the internet. You're staring into an abyss. They're victims of false hopes and it's not their fault. Trust me, i've been pulled into this system too.

Sucked in by a black hole

Think about it, you may too easily be getting yourself stuck into a pattern slowly tearing you down. And if your home situation isn't all that great then it can be even worse. You try and find a connection with people online for support and perhaps catch feelings, there's nothing wrong with that, but you need to understand that video chats and streams are never going to be enough. If you want a true change, you're going to have to go beyond. You're going to have to go beyond the fears that this society has programmed into us. The fears of getting out there. If you know someone across the country that you want to meet, arrange to do so. Even if you're nervous. Because, most likely, the other person is just as nervous. The two of you, or crowd or whoever, can meet up in a busy public place to make those initial connections in the true world, instead of the digital one.

If you want to escape the environment you're in, especially a poor environment, then do everything in your power to fight for an escape. Reach out to people in your local community for help. The helpers are everywhere and can be found in the most unlikely of people. With declining communities and declining society, such as here in the USA, these real connections are going to be more important than ever. You're going to need to have people to trust and people to trust in you. They're going to have to be reliable people. Restore the structure, the community that has quickly become replaced by technology. And get people to go outside.

Technology is a thing that is meant to be a tool and not the structure itself. Remember that. Know that. Use it intelligently to reach out to people. But don't let it be only the beginning and end of your interactions. Always reach beyond and get to know these digital people outside the screens. Don't get stuck in a pattern of accepting the mundane. Live.

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Finally, to get down to where all this has come from. It's been a little over a week since i heard of Katelyn Nichole Davis. After seeing her numerous streams, of her ups and downs as she talks with/to people online, that have been put up on YouTube (link), the things she had endured have torn me apart. She was an empath, she was an old soul and her horrible situation and this world overwhelmed her. I'm still grieving and more than i was last week. I never knew her but she, and her life, is all i can think about, Those videos have made what she went through all that more real. And this society has failed her, and everyone else who has suffered like she has, nearly as much as her family has failed her. The emotion and suffering present in these videos, and her fake smiles, are heart-breaking. She used the internet to connect to people but she was still stuck in a poor environment. In nearly every one of these streams of hers she was screaming out for help. She wanted an escape.

And the people that talked with her online failed in providing that. A failure that was no fault of their own. Just as they've also failed in making fully meaningful connections. Something that i've failed at too online.

We need to understand her experiences. She had a message to get out and it's time we listen to it loud and clear. If you see people who need help online, make an effort to actually get them help. Discussions and listening to them are good. But we need to do more. More needs to be done. Don't approach these things in a manner of talking @ someone.

Talk to them, talk with them. Don't expect something from anything and go into online conversations with people in need, or with anyone, with selfish thoughts in mind. Make the interactions real. Social media has guided our mindsets into holding things back, things of emotion, and sometimes even doing things for self-promotion. Avoid this at all costs. Let your communications with people be real, with emotion, and true. Put life into the internet. Abandon public personas on social media and be your true self. Ween yourself from public social media and make it a secondary thing. Make your online communications more personal and stop striving to talk to as many people as you can. It dilutes your meaning, yourself, and your ability to get to know people.

I dedicate myself to all of this in Kate's memory, for myself and for everyone else, and it you know her story, have felt deeply for her, then be a part of this fight of transforming the world you can reach too, especially the digital world, for the better of us all. To help people and make them know that they're not alone. That they're never alone.