What do you mean, what was the internet? Well, looking back at a quarter of a century of active global internet usage (~1995–2020), we have to assess, perhaps for the first time, what the internet has done for humanity. And it doesn’t look good. The internet was a technology built around the exploitation of human needs, wants, and weaknesses.
The list of websites below roughly indicates what type of human need, want, or weakness they tailor to. Though it’s true a lot of these websites have overlapping features (e.g., Facebook Messenger overlaps with Whatsapp), still, each of the world’s major social websites targets its own core market:
Meetup.com sells inclusion
Whatsapp sells connection
Twitter sells conflict
Facebook sells attention (or face in a Chinese context)
Instagram sells jealousy
Expedia sells travel (and adventure)
Pornhub sells erections
OnlyFans sells whoredom
Amazon sells material wealth
YouTube sells time (wasted)
Google sells recollection
Wikipedia sells information
CNN sells entitlement
Fox News sells rage
Reddit sells “hot takes”
Bitcoin sells greed
Tinder sells access (to love interests)
Medium sells reach
Steam sells activity (in virtual worlds)
Netflix sells degeneracy (yeah, lots of people have a need for that)
New wearable gadgets are going to sell you touch
And LinkedIn doesn’t sell (try landing a job through it)
All of these websites make you pay for something, whether in-cash or in-kind (you watching ads, you losing productivity, you sharing your information, or you being otherwise productive for the website like solving captcha challenges).
In fact, if you want to build a successful internet app, you’ll have to find a niche market where you can exploit one or more of humanity’s unmet needs and wants. Of course, none of this is new. Before the internet, horror movies sold sickness and TV sold entertainment. Cars sold status, kitchen appliances sold sex. (Yes, buying a wife a microwave in the ’80s is what got husbands laid.)
Civilization at large, it turns out, is a gigantic system of exploitation. It exploits primarily people’s mental and emotional issues. This system benefits the psychocrat class. Psychocrats are like psychopaths who’ve figured out they can use the internet to make millions of victims.
Even brick-and-mortar institutions follow the same formula of exploitation. Early book printing sold the masses curiosity and mental stimulation. Libraries nowadays are for people who were told as children to shut up. Those children grew up quietly reading books or doing homework. So they go to libraries. Other kids were beaten, so they join ice-hockey clubs or take karate lessons to prove how tough they are. Others grew up with depressed moms so they start doing drugs in Amsterdam ‘coffee shops’ and listen to heavy metal. And so on, and so forth.
Everything we call civilization is there to use and abuse you unless you are the abuser. Technology enabled it further and the internet weaponized mass exploitation. Civilization is not something benign, it’s something catastrophically evil and from the perspective of our mental health, we’d all be better off living as hunter-gatherers. Neolithic agriculturalists really led us down the rabbit hole of materialism, a downward-spiraling humanity trapped within concrete walls.
So go outside and beat the crap out of modernity!
(By the way, Facebook does not sell genuine friendships. The site traps you inside your existing group of connections. Your need to go out and meet new people actually diminishes because of using Facebook. If you’re looking for new friends, try deleting the app.)
By looking at what websites you use most often, you can identify your needs, wants, and weaknesses. Not all of you may wish to do so. I have already done this for myself and will share some of my insights below:
Personally, I used to use Meetup a lot when I was an expat in New York City, Budapest, and other places. I was lonely and needed to be included into some group to pretend to have a social life. I joined several language clubs, for example, to practice my German, English, and French (I’m Dutch).
I never had any real friends and the familiar faces I met at these clubs were a welcome substitute — so I thought! But they never became true friends. That’s because I had nothing else in common with them besides being a loser. Now I realize I had been scamming myself out of finding true friendship by wasting my time at clubs full of losers. Fuck Meetup.
I had been using Twitter extensively for many years, to the point of getting banned many times over. In fact, I’m no longer allowed to use Twitter due to a permanent person ban. (I am still able to circumvent that by using different names and IP addresses.)
However, this is precisely what Twitter sells: conflict. Conflict on Twitter tends to arise as follows. You post something intended for your followers, expecting appreciation for your thoughts, but since the platform is public, completely random people without any clue of the original context may retweet and comment on your post. This leads to a misunderstanding of the post. Next, that brings in hordes of haters to humiliate, ridicule, and debase you. All you can do is respond by fighting back or abandoning ship.
The conflict Twitter deliberately sells often leads to public shaming. This is the platform’s intended purpose, by the way. It’s not just baddies and bullies targeting you. It’s Twitter that signs them up and sic’s ‘em onto you. On purpose. More conflict, more views, more ads! It’s just that, nowadays, Twitter prefers lefties shaming righties over righting shaming lefties. So Twitter bans more of the righties. At some point, there won’t be enough righties left to shame. Twitter’s most active lefties will get bored and leave, and the platform will naturally die out. (Good!)
Now that I realize this, and see how this connects to my abused childhood (full of conflict and humiliation), I can stop using Twitter. I can stop being a victim. I am free now. Fuck Twitter.
My advice to everyone is: use my list above to identify what websites you use most often, and what flaws they point to. Instead of allowing psychocrats to exploit your mind, take charge of yourself. Cut loose from your abusers and live your own life. Cut loose from the internet. The internet is a narcissistic parent. Fuck the internet.