I Fear The Internet Will Burst From The Sheer Weight Of All The Egos

I’m slightly irritated.

And I’m losing my Pollyanna zest for browsing the internet.

Facebook statuses. Blogs. Youtube videos. The 200 word quick clicks provided by the media of the next regular Jane or Joe making the news. The Pin It! buttons popping up on blogs. The thinly veiled and not-so-thinly-veiled shouts of “Look at me! Over here! Look at me!” or “Please! Make me popular! I must fund my fantasy lifestyle!”

It seems everyone out there wants to be noticed and they don’t care how it’s done. Stupid human tricks on video. Filming your children high on nitrous oxide. Pimping for comments or votes for a contest on a blog. (I’m not immune. I admit. I’ve done this, too.) Slow news days with stories about fake lottery winners wanting a bit of the spotlight. Creating a blog around a novel idea (pun intended), not a real blog but one that is supposed to jump start your book/movie pitch/services.

It’s to the point that whenever I click on a new site or read a news story, about three words in I’m wondering: What’s the angle? What do they want? What are they promoting?

Sometimes I think I’m back in high school. Facebook pages with 500+  1500+ friends. (Really? You honestly have 1564 people you need to keep up with on a daily basis? Wow. You must be really popular.)

Can the Internet hold all of the egos? Will it burst from pride and self-glorification?

And how does this shape our views of others? Will it jade us? Will it cause us to approach each other with caution and mistrust?

It seems rare anymore that I stumble onto the kind of blogs I enjoy and love. But YOUR blogs. The dear ones that comment here and check in to see if I caught my son’s flu. (I did. But very mild.) The ones who write because they have to write and share ideas. Real people trying to make real connections. The down-to-earth, sending thoughts and ideas into the internet, hoping to catch the eye of a like-minded, thinking, intelligent individual kind of blogger.

Your blogs are the ones I crave.

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16 Comments

Filed under Observations, Soapbox

16 responses to “I Fear The Internet Will Burst From The Sheer Weight Of All The Egos

  1. For all the reasons you mention, I refuse to join Facebook or Twitter and have not looked at Pinterest. I do love reading blogs and I get some good ideas for books, recipes, or simply sharing like feelings.

    Glad you had a “light” case (which is bad enough) and that it didn’t ping-pong through the whole family.

  2. Having experienced very similar sentiments over the last week or so, I really liked your observation. Facebook has most devolved into bragging and self-promotion (due to all the how-to advice about how to sell your blog or business using social media) and Twitter is amusing but riddled with depravity and drive-by hate. I haven’t given up on Pinterest yet, for the very reason that it is more purely just about sharing ideas, and that is the potential beauty of social media. Anyway, great post.

  3. You are my hero on this one, Jane.

    Yes, yes, and yes. High school, Narcissism, Ego. It all makes the 80s “me” generation look like small potatoes. Or was that the 90s? And, um, the 2000s? And more of the same???

  4. I’m with you on this one, well said! (And why do other people’s high numbered stats and friends make me feel so inferior?! Sigh). :)

  5. I hear you! I love your blog because you are one of the “real” ones. In this age of social media and instant Internet sensations, it seems that everyone wants their time in the spotlight. It is funny because I’ve spent the past few days trying to contact bloggers who have pinned things from my blog because I DON’T want to be on Pinterest or receive traffic from there. Some of them don’t get why I just want to fly under the radar, but I love my little, quiet corner of blog land and I’d like to keep it that way =)

  6. Honestly, I do get the problem. I mean, there were folks in high school who were popular & part of the clique….then there were those who just didn’t care. But the folks in between, the folks that WANT to be popular or in the clique, but aren’t are the ones that always get mad about the cliques existing in the first place. Several of my friends, now adults, have made comments in the past few weeks about high school not being over with the cliquiness & popularity. But who cares. I mean, some folks *need* it & some don’t. My husband & I are night & day. Hubs is a VERY social person & he gets depressed & fidgety if he’s not with people doing something. He’s easy to get along with & he’s willing to be friends with anyone….so he has a whole lot of them! I on the other hand am fairly anti-social. I honestly do.not.want.friends! I know it’s weird, but that’s the way it is. I couldn’t care less if there’s an in-crowd somewhere & I’m not in it. And I don’t care if they are looking for quick fame or self gratification….what does it matter? Yeah, there are a lot of crude comments on the Internet; a lot of trolling & unneccesartities (yeah, that’s a word!)…but there were in the back of my English class as well. Just like then, I ignore & move on. I refuse to let the loud mouth disrupters, attention seekers, or popular girls get in the way of my personal enjoyment. And if you’re not in the in-crowd, you may just find that you are in your own crowd with your own friends & just haven’t realized it yet.

  7. Glad your flu was ‘light’ whatever that really means. I’m sure it was still uncomfortable…and when Mama’s sick..well the whole family suffers. Hopefully it’s all done with your whole family now and moved off to the east/northeast into Greenland. Wait. That’s weather. Well. You know what I mean.

  8. Ink

    Right on. And yay about the flu! I mean, about it being mild. Maybe yay isn’t the right word…but feel better soon, in any case.

  9. I’m not seeing that right now, but I feel the same way sometimes. A lot of it is just reading the wrong stuff at the wrong time. I follow people that I like on Facebook and Twitter, so mostly I see stuff I like. I don’t pin because I don’t need any more contrast between Martha Stewart-ish crafts and furniture and the merry squalor amid which I dwell. I did one giveaway on my blog and it went over with a resounding thunk – I always think I probably don’t have strong enough moral character to resist selling out if I got the opportunity – happily no one seems to really want to buy anything I have to offer. :)

  10. I’m glad you had a mild case of the flue. Hope everyone is well at your house now. It’s obvious by looking at most of the fb posts, we live in a narcissistic, self-absorbed world. I only hope I’m counted as one of the blogs you enjoy, because I very much enjoy yours! I wish you and yours a very joyful Easter. xoxox

  11. Yes, to use an old-fashioned word, I’ve been ‘mindful’ of the self-promotion aspect of blogging for quite some time. The internet has a tendency to suck you in to do the same. To be honest, I’ve been having fun on Pinterest, being quite selfish and self-absorbed in pinning what I like and, to my joy and amazement, coming across others who are similarly single-minded but with whom I connect. It’s liberating. I’m liked for being me! …yay… and all the little things that make me tick! :)

    Curiously enough, your post is very timely. I’ve just lately noticed a huge influx of Twits – Twitterers…how pointless that cyber existence seems? They follow me, have 200 boards with 200 pins (usually not relating at all to the subject of that board’s title) and if you click on their ‘bit.ly’ link it leads to advertising. I’m not sure what’s going on there but yes, my new happy space has been invaded by the grabby monsters out for self-promotion!

    I like my little band of blog friends and, in retrospect, I’m very glad that I followed my heart and stuck with fewer, but truer, friends.

  12. llcooljoe

    I think this is why I don’t have a Facebook page, I don’t twitter. In fact all I have is my little blog, and I’m happy with that. :) I don’t need the world and it’s cat to love me.

  13. I fear for the next generation. We think we got it bad? What about our kids who are born into this with an iPhone in hand by the age of two? They’ll never know a life of quiet, calm reflection. They are born with multiple inputs and outputs. Their brains will adapt and they’ll never process the world the way previous generations did.

    It’s the same feeling that makes us feel we are important enough for a cell phone when walking down the street. It’s lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff into a frothy sea. We can’t wait to suck up every new gadget that comes along because, like you pointed out, the #1 thing we’ll do with it is tweet, blog, pin, and friend ourselves out to tell the world, “Hey, look at me.”

    When everyone in a country sells Amway there is no one left to buy. The system no longer works. So it is with ALL of us being little content producers. Sure, we’re producing “content” in record amounts but is anyone really listening?

    The faster we suckle this stuff down like sugary-sweet syrup the faster we break down the forms of little necessary glues that hold certain things together at the societal level.

    Of course, for more information about this and other stuff like it be sure to follow me on Twitter and read my blog! :)

  14. I agree…it’s like those damn 26.2 stickers that are popping up on everyone’s bumper…we just want someone to notice us I guess? I’m getting pickier about what I read…and I have a lot of “friends” on FB…mostly b/c I grew up one place, went to h.s. in another, then college, then former students, then Cri du Chat friends…they add up! And…I can’t delete anyone b/c I feel guilty!

  15. My little cousin (16) said what’s the point of twitter? And I responded it gave every person out there a place to say the first thing that they thought of that was clever but really isn’t and shouldn’t have been shared in the first place. Granted. I follow some interesting people. And I’m sure my tweets are barely funny to anyone but me. And yes, I want to learn to use social media. To make other people heard and famous. God, I’m going to hell, aren’t I?

  16. There are several ways to use social media. Most of us have blogs because we can’t necessarily say the things we want to the people breathing right next to us (or down the street from us). We joined Facebook to find friends and see their kids’ pictures. And we tried Twitter and Pinterest because they were fun.
    Other people do it for self promotion. Or because they’re lonely. Or because they are jackweeds.
    I avoid these three groups.
    I’ve ditched Facebook because nobody has anything interesting to say. I use Twitter a lot because I follow accounts that give me my news, great links to interesting articles, and funny things to thing about. I don’t care what people have for lunch, and I unfollow those.
    Pinterest was amazing in the beginning. I found links to homemade, non-toxic cleansers and playdough recipes and great ideas for keeping kids busy on rainy days. Now I see a lot of body dysmorphia and business promotions. So I’ll probably ditch it, too.
    The bottom line is: read the blogs and the posts that fill you and help you live your best life; and ditch the rest.
    The world is full of noise. Blocking it out is our job. And teaching our kids how to block it out is much harder than it used to be.

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