There are thousands of people right now spending all their time viewing one website or another, engaging in social networking, writing code, designing pages, writing copy, buying links, selling ad space, etc. Thousands of people. Imagine that. Imagine the millions if not billions of dollars being spent on fluff right now. Yes, I just called the Internet “fluff.”
It is nothing, after all. It is the perception of something not really there. And it promotes dualistic thinking among its users. It invites all web professionals to spend their entire professional lives engaging it, focusing upon it, learning about it – and it offers next to nothing tangible in return.
Take me for example. I am a writer who happens to perform search engine optimization duties for a living. I spend a minimum of nine hours per day staring at a computer screen, hopping from one website to the next. That’s not all I do, of course, but I do spend the majority of my day engaging the Internet. If I spend the majority of my waking hours on the Internet, then I must also be spending a minority of my waking hours observing and engaging the real world.
That means that I am more influenced by technology than by nature. That means that I am unbalanced.
I’ve always had a confrontational style about me. I’m actually quite mellow now in comparison to my teenage years. I call things what they are (or at least what they appear to be) without feeling that I should change the truth to avoid exposing someone else’s lie or faulty belief systems. Some of my corners still need to be smoothed out, but stating my perception of truth without compromising is part of who I am.
That’s why I can say that the Internet will turn out to be a huge waste of time. Sure, people will make millions. Sure, thousands of people will have jobs and support their families. Then again, if we amassed a million man army and took over the world we could still get plunder and support our families… so obviously these ends do not justify every means.
The simple truth is that man is out of harmony with nature. I am out of harmony with nature. The most “real” physical sensation I have right now is tired eyes from staring at this screen. I walk out the front door and stand in the fresh air and all I can manage to feel is how much I want to go back inside. Something about the “real” frightens us. Something about the lack of control – the realization that men are not gods. Nature proves that man is limited, finite, and most definitely not in control. Technology is man’s attempt to control as much as possible.
Call it whatever you want. The way I see it, Ecclesiastes is correct: all is vanity…