Sometimes, the internet bums me out.
It’s a pretty amazing and wonderful invention, listen, this is not a condemnation of the internet. I didn’t burn every bit of social cred I had during college trying to explain to people how my squawking computer umbilicus was going to change the world to turn my back on the internet now, fuck, man. It’s great. Everybody knows about the internet now. The president tweets, my mother’s on facebook, the internet IS the news now. The Pimas who used to trade me watermelons for gatorade powder, my fourth grade teacher, that guy who cut off that guys head on the bus because Canada was so boring to drive across? They all see it now, they have the scent, they see a tool that does a job nobody has ever dreamed of needing done. It’s the most absurd experiment that anybody has ever taken out of a petri dish and stuffed into the fucking groundwater, containment be damned. What could it hurt? What couldn’t it hurt. What else can it do? Everyone feels the thrum of it, the tickle, like the first time you leaned over and stopped, gasped — held it against the dryer door just a few seconds longer now, it’s in the forebrain, the meat of you and now you can’t think of a way back from it: how would you find the grocery store? What time do they close, HOW WOULD YOU EVER KNOW HOW MANY SEX PREDATORS LIVE BETWEEN HERE AND THERE it’s terrifying and exciting and gratifying and more you need it more and then you’re there in the dark and your partner is sleeping and you have it on your tiny screen, just give me one more buuump. And it’s institutional then, you’re in it. Soaking in it. And then you have filled your time. Filled it, there’s so many streams now, so much data that you can saturate any bandwidth. I’ve been on this bitch for many years, guys. I have bandwidth, I’ve known men with true CAPACITY — in their way but now, nobody’s pipe is too wide. It’s a flood. And you pick and you choose and then you get chosen, you get followed and fawned and obsessed over and dissected and it’s fun and it’s new and then it’s old and it’s boring and then it’s just life again. You pick your lies and you stick to them. And you know you’re overwhelmed and you ignore and you apologize and then you start to cull. That’s what they say, you know. You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose. And that’s the real trick now. Attenuation. Unfollowed. Blocked. Levels of detail. Picking your battles. Maybe you think that’s funny but it’s not funny any more. Who are you. And then you see it it’s the one you’ve been waiting to pick, the last nasty scab. The one you’ve been waiting on, it’s been itching and you’ve been hating it and you can’t just stop being hurt by it, feeling the pain that is bleeding from them onto the internet, bit by bit drop by drop and they’re just gouting it. And you snap and they’re gone. One day, you’re in the car checking twitter before you go into the bar, anticipation of fun wet on your lips, and they just… piss in it. And you are done. Internet dead to me. You wait for the reaction. The hurt email, the annoyed @. You wait for the shame or the embarrassment or… anything. And when something doesn’t come, it’s on you, the fever, spring cleaning. Too many retweets. Too many games. Too much bitching. Too much bad news. And it spreads like fire to the corners of your internet, the murky byproducts of half-drunk conversations and happenstance and boredom and angst and puddles of anger and horniness and depression, toxic cobwebs of desperation ignite in a terrible conflagration, setting you free.
And then I woke up into a glorious new day and the internet was just like I dreamed it as a boy, as I knew it then. My old friend. Who tells me the weights of unlikely things and translates things. Gets my tv shows, pays my bills, shows me boobs and tells me jokes. And it lets me connect with those I care about, those I want to truly know, the things I want to see. It is glorious here.
Sometimes, the internet bums me out.