If you’re living in the year 2018, you live on many spectrums. From sexuality, to autism to political leanings, we are all part of these various sliding scales that loosely define who we are as people. One of the most fascinating spectrums to me is how plugged in we are. From the hermit who’s never been on the internet to people who can’t imagine a time in history where people didn’t have constant access to everything. Basically the scale goes from your grandma to your little sister.
Now, if you’re reading this, you’re undeniably on the “Plugged into the matrix” side of the spectrum. This is a blog post (Which is an archaic concept in itself these days).But you’re reading it and there is no actual page turning involved. That said, like the poet laureate Macklemore once lamented , “there’s layers to this shit (tiramisu)”. I tend to simplify things in my head and try to throw these sort of things into categories. I often think you can tell how plugged in you are by how many apps you’re addicted to. Like, the least plugged in version of this would be, say, your mom or your grandmother (depending on your age). This would be a person who kinda knows how to use the internet, has an email but doesn’t do any social media cause, well, why the fuck does a person over 65 need to do that bullshit? Unless they’re promoting a new crocheting kickstarter, there really isn’t a point, They know how to order off amazon but also might fall for a Nigerian prince email scheme. These are people who lived the majority of their lives before the internet and the last thing they need or care about are twitter and instagram. At their worst, they have a Facebook and, good lord, we know how that goes. Facebook pretty much invented “Unsubscribing” for this very reason.
On the other side of this we have the person who is up on EVERYTHING. They have Facebook, twitter, instagram, periscope, snapchat, google plus (or whatever that was called), multiple email accounts all for different things, highly active reddit lives and everything else you can think of. When a new social media platform comes out they sign up immediately cause, hey , you never know what could be the next thing. As someone who is ,without question, deep in this matrix, I will say that, at this point in my life, I got enough “things”, social media wise. Between Facebook, twitter and instagram, I’m good. I already probably have nervous ticks bought on by notifications on my phone , like some sick pavlovian experiment gone wrong. So, you best believe I’m not trying to add on to that. But I wanted to step back from that, if that’s even possible, and look at the two sides. Off the grid vs. being plugged in to the matrix. Look at the pro’s and con’s. Let’s start with you “off the grid” motherfuckers. The cool thing about this is I can write whatever I want about them and they won’t get mad…cause they will never read this. Rest assured, if you’re reading this, I’m not talking about you. And in a day and age where everyone thinks everything is about them, that’s actually quite refreshing.
Off the grid people
This is a wide spectrum too. You got people who have never had access to internet. Actual third world problems (not the kind cornballs complain about when instagram goes down or their fave brunch place is too packed on the weekends). Those people are the furthest end of the spectrum but , because it’s not exactly their choice, it’s kind of a whole other thing unto itself. Then you have people who COULD have access to the internet but just choose to not partake. These are the types of people who end up on juries when some shit like 9/11 goes down. Now, I can’t help but be both envious and dubious of these people. On one hand, I am jealous of their lives in the sense that all these things that cloud most of our days aren’t even a concept to them. They don’t know what a subtweet is. They don’t have any idea what it means to get unfollowed. They are, in that sense, pure of a lot of the bullshit we all think about on a regular basis. That peace of mind must be incredible. For that reason, I do have a strong respect for these types of people. That said, they are also willfully uninformed. Say what you will about fake news and all the bullshit on the internet but it is the #1 source of info for everything. These people are reading their local “FoggyTown river Examiner” and USA today as their only news sources, that’s not a good look for anyone. These people also vote so, you know, that’s a whole other thing.
A step more towards the center of the spectrum would be people who are living in modern society, who are not luddites but just choose to not care about most social media. I’ve found, in my tireless research of this subject done mostly by just kinda paying attention, that these types of people have one social media platform they use and they barely give a shit about it. Be it a mostly dormant Facebook page or an instagram account they check once every month. They have the option to gaze into the matrix but they genuinely don’t seem to care. They certainly don’t put any weight on social media in general and are usually the types of people who still make phone calls. The mind set these people have is amazing. I’m serious. They are simply not wired to care about it and that’s commendable. They probably do shit like fly kites and read books. Who knows. Whatever they’re doing, I’m sure it’s as cute and down homey as a hand whittled rocking chair.
As we head towards the center of the spectrum we find the average internet user. They have Facebook. They have instagram. They check it daily. They don’t post often. To them, it’s something to glance at when they’re bored. They enjoy it but it’s not THAT important to them. While they are not immersed in the web, they also aren’t running from it. They are, as far as i can tell, healthy minded people. There are people who you can actually converse with for a while and they probably won’t look at their phone once. That said, they’re not immune to that behavior and can certainly get wrapped up in long text convos that consume their entire being. They are, in fact, human. They are not controlled by the internet but they use it when needed. They uber. They check out Yelp reviews. But, if you are to ask them “did you see so and so’s post on instagram yesterday?” Good money is on they probably didn’t OR, if they did, they didn’t care. These people don’t get most memes and , when they do, they post them 8 months after they’ve been played out. God bless these people. But satan bless them as well.
Moving past that, we get people who are bout it bout it. They not only check all their social media platforms regularly, they’re active participants. They post, they comment. They are slaves to their notifications. I’m 100% in this group. Social media is undeniably an engrained facet in their lives. However, and maybe I’m speaking for myself here, there still is an air of “who cares?” in a way. I don’t mean that like “Who cares about the internet!?”. i mean like “I’m addicted to this but I also realize it’s fucking stupid”. I’d like to think, this area on the spectrum has two sub sets. A and B. A is the people who do it but don’t get emotionally wrapped up in it. People who might argue with a stranger online (ahem) but also not actually want to fight that person if they see them.
Then there are the B types. The B’s are the people who pretty much live and die by that shit. B group are people who WRITE yelp reviews. People who constantly look at the “activity” page on instagram (wtf is wrong with you if you do that?). People who keep track of other peoples every move (even strangers and celebrities) as if it were their job. I mean, I get this on a micro level. Girlfriends and boyfriends and all that kinda shit cause it’s human nature (albeit possibly the most toxic and damaging thing about dating in the current times). But when you’re doing that with friends and strangers? Holy shit. It’s time to take a deep breath and step back from the phone.
A few steps past this part of the spectrum and you have the people whose life IS the internet. Not only are they so wrapped up in it , it defines everything about them, they aren’t even the same people online as they are in real life. These are people who are so consumed into the matrix, their existence on the internet is not a real person. Rather, a skewed, imaginary version of themselves. A “Sim”, but they aren’t playing video games. These people are often witty and the first up on any trend or meme. They’re also the troll dudes on message boards and reddit who can be pretty fucking awful human beings.These are also people who argue online and love it. They seek out conflict and do it out of sheer boredom. They’re never THAT offended by anything but , best believe, you will think the world is going to an end anytime this kinda person takes issue with anything.
They’re also girls who project themselves as divas or “models” who post selfies and inspirational quotes all day in some backwards attempt to find the balance between sensuality, over confidence and some sort of cult leader wrapped up in the warm blanket of what is actually unmitigated insecurity.
This level on the spectrum contains the people who probably sext and send nudes on snapchat but, when faced in real life with another human being, can barely make eye contact. This is a scary and sad relationship with the internet and , unfortunately, it seems to be becoming more and more common. Especially with the people who have never known anything else BUT having phones , internet and social media. It’s no wonder the sexual activity amongst young people has gone down in recent years…cause those motherfuckers don’t actually know how to engage another human being if it doesn’t involve emojis and carefully curated selfies.
Beyond this level, we got the really scary people. The ones who aren’t just in the web, they are the web. These are those dark web people who , honestly, are probably all geniuses but, holy shit, am i scared of them and whatever they can do. Hacking, Doxing, and whatever else they are capable of. It’s as if they have transcended beyond just being internet users and into a new plane of actually pulling the strings. So while group B of that earlier group are hyperventilating over who liked what pic and who unfollowed who, these dudes are literally breaking into the government and changing how the world works, for better or worse. One thing is for certain though, I bet these dudes have never looked at the activity page on instagram. THEY ARE THE ACTIVITY PAGE!
Like most things, moderation is the key. You never wanna be too far on either side of this kinda spectrum. And I say this knowing I’m certainly too far one way myself. But, hey, at least I’m aware enough to admit it. Now pardon me while I go cross post this blog on my twitter and Facebook and story it on instagram. hell, i might even dust off snapchat. Lol just kidding. No ones doing that anymore.