I’ve been writing online in some form since 2000. A whole lot of people on social media weren’t even born then. I roamed those stages of the internet with the dinosaurs. I don’t recall them having feathers, but then, I’m ancient and memory fades. For all I can remember, T-Rex might have looked like a peacock.
19 years later, I can remember when online news sources began to cite bloggers. I can still remember thinking to myself that taking such a path would not be a good idea. Not because there aren’t some brilliant people writing blog posts, but because even then I knew that news sources would pick and choose, collate, and use such independent sources completely out of context. And it wasn’t long afterward that I began to note that this is exactly what started to happen. Our news media has always been a propaganda tool, but as the internet began to truly assert itself, that same news media correctly saw a future in which it could pick, choose, edit, redact, and cite any independent source that it desired, without the need for worrying about copyrights or truth.
Fast forward a few years.
While MySpace never proved to be the hivemind desired, the advent of Facebook and Twitter began the slippery slope. Hell, it wasn’t just a slippery slope; it was a 45 degree slide coated in axle grease. It took some time for the new social media channels to ferment. The absolute hysteria of political correctness took a while to infect both outlets. In time, however, the mad tyranny of PC culture metastasized, and our news media was already exploiting the disease.
Present day, and one tweet can ruin your life. It doesn’t have to be a tweet from any time recent, either. One night years ago you might have been drunk, and found that you’d had enough of some kind of political talking point, and so you pounded out a very politically incorrect 120 characters. And now, those few characters result in your entire character assassination. You’ve no choice in the matter. The hivemind digs the hole, inserts the proverbial cross, and you find yourself nailed to it, despite context, despite your human flaws, despite that anyone who knows you in real life knows you to be a damned decent person with no real interest in harming anyone else. Even if you meant it at the time, and have grown as a human being since then, it doesn’t matter. Your arms will be stretched out and the social media hivemind is all too happy to pound in the nails.
And then people make the worst mistake: trying to furiously delete old tweets. Upon this the mob-like hivemind will pounce like a cat on a mouse. There is no escape at such a point. Walk up to the proverbial podium, and make one of two choices: 1) Apologize profusely in cowering form or 2) tell the hivemind to kiss the fattest part of your ass.
This has happened again and again. It will happen ad infinitum. Yet humanity isn’t learning. It just keeps walking into the trap, proclaiming itself, as though nothing has happened.
Does all this strike you as healthy human behavior?
My tinfoil hat posts are not far removed from this sort of post, because everything in our modernity is connected. We live in an echo chamber of madness. Moment to moment we are bombarded with the noise of nonsense that the Powers that be have put into place—with our help. At times people ask me, “How could anything be so coordinated? Humanity isn’t that smart!” Well, first off, it never was just humanity. But in terms of pure pragmatism, the Powers that be needed merely to fool us into believing that convenience was the only god we need serve. From that point on, we built our own prisons.
We helped to create the infection. Fooled into building a Hegelian Dialectic. After decades of studying humanity in the most heinous of ways (MK Ultra, just to name one), the Powers that be figured out how to manipulate us into creating for them problems that seemingly could not be solved by society (society that had already solved the damned problems in many ways, mind you), so that people clamored for ways in which our corrupt government could solve the problem. Only the solution, as the initial thesis, has resulted in the mental slavery of modernity. The internet insinuated the need for all of humanity to be connected. It wasn’t forced on us. It was sold as a convenience. At times, an imperative. But never completely forced. The idea was to convince us that our technology, as it began to slowly extend its tentacles worldwide, would give us freedom from so many ‘old world’ inconveniences.
I still remember the notions of the ‘paperless office.’ Does anyone today work in such a silly, utopian idea? Hell no. Paper still abounds in every office.
Humanity never needed such connection. It never needed the egalitarianism that the dialectic continued to tell us that we needed. What had been created was a fractured society in which the idea of community had been destroyed. People had already begun to live less than 50 feet apart without ever knowing one another. America had lost any semblance of truly caring for one another in most places. So the dialectic seemed to offer a solution: if we weren’t connecting on a physical level, then a virtual ‘community’ might be just as good. Only it wasn’t by any sort of longshot.
Sensory deprivation experiments somewhere around the middle of the 20th century had already shown that a human being robbed of his sense of the world around him would lose touch with his own reality. Isolated, the human would know longer even understand his own identity. So while we have glorified those horrible experiments and used them to scare the hell out of ourselves, the Powers that be had already used that data to help usher in a virtual world that could achieve the same outcome without all the surface ugliness. There was no need to inject actual drugs into us or tape our eyes and ears shut. It was merely a matter of fooling humanity into worshiping convenience and the so-called connection of the internet.
But the internet is not reality. It is a bastard form of reality. And that form in the last few decades has morphed into a digital infectious disease. The truly frightening thing is that where we stand as a society now is not the end game. Despite that people can no longer communicate on social media (or any other way) effectively, the worst has yet to be seen. People continue to rage on the internet that the division in our world comes from politicians. But such is not the case. The politicians are part of the result of the entire disease. They are in power because our so-called convenient and virtually-connected lifestyles have robbed us of our own identity, and so we have elected them based on a false need to exercise the ideas that we believe are our own. We crave individuality because we’ve helped the Powers that be rob us of said identity. We’re like ugly, third-generation, confused clones now: everyone is different just like everyone else. Yet most of humanity behaves like a hivemind: reactive, cruel, and impulsive. We need only be fed a mere talking point and we launch. Self-awareness and self-control are no longer important because, thanks to this infectious disease of our hivemind culture, we no longer have an identity tied to anything deeper than the unruly mob, whichever mob we identify with.
We are diseased. The cure is simple, but by no means easy: while we cannot reasonably completely disconnect from the virtual world in which we live, we can recognize that it is all an illusion, and thus begin to mentally disconnect, and take a step back from our outrage, one step at a time. Recovering from any infectious disease takes time, but it is not impossible.