I wonder how many of us realize the USA-American nature of Internet. To begin with, it was started by the US Military (!!). Military interest (control, spying, making registers) are still an important part of it.
Let´s also remind ourselves that USA ´s “religion” is Commercialism. Salesmanship, shopkeeper mentality, the attitude that buying and selling are of paramount importance in life.
The commercial nature of Internet is seen by the everywhere present advertising. On almost every page something is being advertised to be sold. More than that, in a sense everybody who is present on the Net with a personal page, blog or something else is selling… himself.
“You are your brand” is a terrible, but commercially correct, statement.
Advertising has been raised to an art in America. What is advertising about? Getting attention, among other things. Attention is also the new currency that has invaded our lives with the Internet. Forget Euro, Pounds, Yen and Dollars. In our attention-economy the important currency is attention.
This brings some really tragic consequences with it.
Instead of trying to be a decent, intelligent, honest, good, wise person we more and more try to be noticed persons. If we are not noticed on the Net, we have failed somehow.
“Don´t forget to bookmark, like and subscribe.”
The new hunt is for followers.
This means that our self-worth is no longer in our hands, our control. It is in the hands of a mixed company, many of them strangers whose opinion we have no reason to respect. Or disrespect — but the main point is that they are strangers whom we for one or other reason added to Facebook.
The consequence of this is of utmost importance.
Self-worth now comes in large part from without, not from within, not from our own private doings. This results in a superficiality that is scary; we are standing there, looking in the mirror, the mirror of attention, and wondering if we are beautiful enough.
Contrast this with former times when the mirror was our introspection and conscience.
I am pretty sure (though I cannot prove it) that things would have been different if we Europeans (the French!), or Asians, or Africans had designed the Net. As it is, Americans did it. As Frankie almost sang “they did it their way”.
The American way.