Is The Internet Real?
Is the internet real? That might seem like a stupid question, but it’s just something I’ve been thinking about lately. It’s one of those things I’ve been thinking about so much that I end up thinking is anything real? Do you ever do that? Overthink something so much that you start to question everything about your own existence? I was watching a TED Talk, as always, (you can watch it here if you’re interested), and in it Meaghan Ramsey talks briefly about the negative impact of living a lot of our lives online (she talks briefly about the subject at 2:20.) How the lines between real and unreal become blurred, which made me think about whether the internet can be classed as real or unreal. The speaker gave the impression that she thinks aspects of the internet aren’t real, saying that “there’s no separation between online and offline life. What’s real and what isn’t, it’s really hard to tell the difference.” It gave me, at least, the impression that no one should be investing too much of their time in the internet, because it takes away from ‘real life.’
She implies that likes and followers online shouldn’t matter, they are unreal, and they give people a sense of accomplishment, achievement, or self worth, which they are lacking in their ‘real lives’. This is a theory which I’ve heard before. That people who spend a lot of time online, gaining lots of followers, likes, must be doing so because they feel like they can’t achieve it in ‘reality’. I don’t think I agree with this. It’s the sort of thing that sends me into a downward spiral of thinking about the meaning of life and how really everything is meaningless.
Of course, it can be strongly argued this theory isn’t true, I mean it’s sort of already been proved untrue from how many people make their livings online, such as particularly successful YouTubers and bloggers. But then again it’s arguable that if the internet disappeared overnight, life would go on. I think, personally, that the internet is real, and should be classed as a ‘real thing.’ Possibly the internet just isn’t classed by many as a real and valuable thing because older generations lived for so long without it that they know life is possible without it’s existence, although this doesn’t necessarily mean that life is better without its.