Thursday, December 16, 2010

Post One Thousand, or Why I Hate the Web

Well, here we are at another landmark - the one thousandth posting on this blog. I always feel torn on such occasions - one part of me feels it should just be business as usual, whilst, on the other hand, another part of me wants to mark it by posting something really significant. Sadly, a raging cold which has been afflicting me for the past few days makes neither option likely. I've only just got a particularly violent cough under control thanks to some especially evil-tasting cough medicine. The whole situation hasn't been helped by staff shortages meaning that I've had to keep going in to work - dosed up to the eyeballs with pharmaceuticals - when I really should have been at home in bed. The result is that I've completely lost the thread as to what I'd planned to post here this week - unbelievable though it might seem, I do usually have a vague idea as to what the week's posts are going to contain - and I still haven't started knocking together a new story for The Sleaze.

That said, I seem to recall that I was intending to post something about my growing disillusionment with the web. Nothing new there, I hear you say. True. I've railed in the past about the demise the old 'Wild West' web of the early days, which seemed to be full of innovation and fun, whereas these days it all seems far too commercialised. The gifted amateurs of the 'good old days' have been replaced by cynical professionals interested only in sales, so it seems. But it isn't just this, it's the fact that the web just seems to bring out the worst in humanity which has increasingly got me down. I've talked about this before - just look at the comments on most news stories, catalogues of unrelenting hatred and bile. Now, I know that it has been said that this sort of stuff merely represents what these morons think anyway, and you are just as likely to hear it in the pub, but the fact is that I don't want to hear their ignorant bigotry there, or anywhere else. Indeed, I try and plan my pub visits so as to avoid the type of idiots who spout this noxious shit. However, even if this was simply the result of the majority of web-users being evil cretins, it would be depressing enough, but the sad fact is that a not insignificant amount of these comments are apparently co-ordinated by corporations and shady right-wing groups to suppress reasoned debate on some issues and to try and discredit their opponents.

So, what's the upshot of all this disenchantment with the net? Well, for one thing, I intend lowering my 'web presence' in the coming year. Whilst I have no intention of giving up on either this blog or The Sleaze, I do intend ending my half-hearted involvement with various social networking sites. I've never really 'got' social networking, probably because I'm basically anti-social, and these sites seem to be increasingly dominated by the kind of inane commentary I despise elsewhere. The same applies to my participation in web forums and message boards, for the same reasons. I've found increasingly that I'm visiting an ever more limited number of sites in terms of general web-surfing, mainly because of the death of older, decent sites I was interested in, or the fact that they've succumbed to the infection of bigoted idiocy afflicting too much of the web. I don't see this trend being reversed. Indeed, most of my surfing these days seems to be connected with maintaining and improving my own web sites. So there you have it - a really cheerful thousandth post! What else did you expect?

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