That everything the internet was suppose to usher in ranged from universal access to media attention to being able to succeed in business without a huge budget or even a gold-plated network.
Like the leaders of the emerging counterculture in the late 1960s, the front lines of the internet - the Netizens - were positioned and packaged as spiritually, socially, and intellectually evolved.
And, the obstacles of class, gender, language, and geography in connecting with other human beings would no longer exist.
Little of that has come to pass.
In Vanity Fair, Maya Kosoff documents the failure.
Sure, all voices can be heard. But the loudest ones on the internet tend to promote hate or seek to confuse.
Businesses using supposedly low-cost Facebook advertising are now suing Facebook for allegedly inflating, up to 900%, the user metrics associated with video. The higher the metrics, the more Facebook billed. And, how many lawyers have been badly burned by web con artists?
As in Orwell's "Animal Farm," many of the Netizens considered themselves more equal that other Netizens.
Yeah, as the counterculture movement hardened it seemed to mutate into propaganda endorsing sex-on-demand, drug-taking, cult thinking, violence, and throwing away a career.
The impediments to connecting seem to be increasing, not melting away like the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz."
Who hasn't been flamed on the internet because they were different from those who had figured out how to attract, hold, and grow followers?
The gang of earnest freelancers at Mediabistro.com put me under attack for two days.
The fans of Gawker explicitly tormented me for about four years. Included were weekly executions in which the decision would be made if I would be granted clemency.
Unfortunately, being on the internet, both web and mobile, is a necessary evil. The snail mail mode of developing business is dead. Attending conferences in-person to network and job hunt has become too expensive at this time of stagnant wages and fees.
Yes, google has become the resume for individuals. That's what Richard Bolles hammers in the 2019 edition of "What Color Is Your Parachute?"
Google also has become the homepage for businesses. It overrides websites. And in his book "The Four," Scott Galloway predicts it will eliminate the concept of branding. Instead of sticking with brand choice Planet Fitness when we move to Ohio, we know to key in on google "fitness centers - Eastern OH." A lower-cost fit might pop up on the first page of google.
Here's an analogy to the wonderous potential of the internet: baby boomers' access to a college education.
That seemed like the exit from being regulated to low-status, low-earning work.
Then, soon enough, it became obvious that not all school credentials were equal. That is exactly what the current trial "Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard" is about.
The stink that stuck on our realization that the game was still rigged hasn't diminished. But, we tell our grandchildren that they must go to college - and beyond in higher education.
Likewise, we are locked into the internet.
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