Saturday, September 13, 2014

The internet is the new magic mirror

Blogging is an ego trip, says my better half. To which I’d like to add: a lot of things we do on the internet is self-aggrandisement in one form or the other. We mean well and we are being genuine, of course. Fortunately, most of it is harmless and often downright banal. For instance, the stuff we write and the pictures we post, the feedback we hunger for, the secondhand products we market in cybershops, the qualifications we peddle on job sites, the gossip we indulge in chatrooms, the mindless emails we forward, or the souls we sell on social media. I have only scratched the surface, but you get the drift, don’t you?

While it seems like it is about the collective good, it is actually about the individual bad. Much as we refuse to admit it, what we do on the internet is largely about ourselves brought on by our keen and reckless desire to be heard, read, seen, and felt the moment we “connect” and go in search of personal glory.

Self-aggrandisement is defined as “an act undertaken to increase your own power and influence or to draw attention to your own importance.” Nowhere is this truer than in cyberspace. The next time you enter the bowels of the internet, keep one eye on your activities and you’ll know what I’m harping about.

The internet is the new Magic Mirror and we, its multitude of users, are the new avatars of the Evil Queen, begging for answers to the question—“Google at my fingertips, who is the most popular on the internet?” And, like the queen in Snow White, we long to hear the internet always reply: “My dear surfer, you are the most popular in cyberland.”

The irony of it all is that, no matter what we do and how much time we spend on the internet, we only have a superficial presence and not a real existence as we’d like to think. The moment you “disconnect” you cease to be, as I will the minute I log off after posting this self-promotional piece.

This is my point of view.

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