For those of you who haven’t been watching me complain loudly on Facebook, I’m under the weather. While this is an opportune time for this to happen (since I’m not really doing anything at the moment), this does mean that I have a lot of time to sit in front of my computer and click on random things all day. Unfortunately, today, I feel like I hit a wall.
Today, I hit the end of the internet.
I know what you’re thinking – “The internet doesn’t have an end! It’s like that snake eating its own tail or less self-canibalistic similes!” But today, I felt like I’d stepped right up to the great oblivion and looked over the edge. Maybe I’m writing this post so that the next two feet of space is created, and I’ll be a little further from the edge.
When I really, really get into my Internet dazes, I have a long series of sites I check for updates – my Google Reader, Metafilter, Reddit, Fark, and a few others. Today, though, I hit the point where I was flipping back and forth between them, and there was no new content. Anything that was posted was something I’d already seen at some point today, via somewhere else. Yes, I saw that review of a new restaurant this morning. Yeah, I know that Apple is releasing their iCloud stuff soon. Of course, I know that pedestrians are hunted in Florida like wild game.
I’m not sure if this speaks more to the information echo chamber I seem to live in, or that not much was happening today. Nothing seemed to be able to grab my interest and keep me going for a while. It was all more of the same, with no new information being created. The same posts were up, the same comments were there – it was as if everything had just shut down for the end of the day.
Someone said that a bored mind is the sign of a stupid mind. I should be able to come up with something to entertain myself or everyone else on the internet. Submit something to Reddit. Comment on Metafilter. Write a blog post. Film myself lighting my hair on fire and post it to YouTube. It’s when I realized that I’ve really gotten to the point where I don’t create much content on the internet. Besides these blog posts, which I write ever-so-sparingly, I’m not really a content creator, I’m a content consumer. I’m not adding my voice to the fray, I’m simply just taking in what other people are doing. I rarely even comment on sites, because I don’t really feel like I have anything to say besides what everyone else has said.
I’m going to paraphrase a few stats that I can’t remember, so bare with me. On a given site, only 10% of those that read will ever register an account, only 10% of those will ever comment, and only 10% of those will create content. Now, I’m making those numbers up because I can’t be assed to actually find the cite (bodes will for my academic future), but if that’s true, then I’m in the majority. In fact, it would unpatriotic to actually create anything for the internet.
This seems to fall squarely into the category of “if you don’t like it, do something about it.” If you don’t like it, vote. If you don’t like it, run for office. If you don’t like it, get something changed. While I may have reached the end of the Internet today, I know that while I type this, while I sleep, and when I get up tomorrow morning, there will be more there. That edge I looked over will have been filled in, and it’ll go on for another hundred miles.
The question is, am I going to add anything to it? Am I going to fill in some of those gaps with things that I’ve made, or am I simply going to walk the path that others have created for me?
When I reach the end of the Internet again, will I continue it?