I think the internet is growing up.
I know what you’re thinking, but listen.
When I was younger — when most of us, in fact, were younger– the internet didn’t know what it was. WE didn’t know what it was. It was like “Here. Here is this thing I have. In fact, here is everything. I don’t know what to do with it, but I have it, and now so do you.”
We all found our little corners, and if we couldn’t find a corner we had the freedom to build one for ourselves.
It was a magical and lawless time, as I’ve said before.
During this period, the internet was a thought form, an entity yet to be. It was like the early days of Earth, before the primordial ooze glooped out its first amoebas.
Today, it is the first complex organism to not only discover dry land, but to discover it has the ability to walk on it without dying.
Or, to put it a different (some might say “better”) way, it is a toddler discovering that the world exists, independent of itself, and that, despite this, people outside its immediate experience can still have the same thoughts and feelings it has, and this blows its fucking mind.
Are you really that surprised other people put your thoughts to words? Like, are you seriously having a “mind blown” moment? Do you know what words like “amazing” and “astonishing” even mean? You should, you have Google in you.
Yet every time you use them, you diminish their impact, because so often what you call “astonishing” and “amazing” is so obvious, matter-of-fact, everyday, and, frankly, common-sensical that I’m left wondering if the tumblr post you shared was actually amazing for you, or if you linked the wrong post and didn’t realize it.
Either you have no idea how to use these words accurately, or, like a child first becoming aware that the world around them is more than a hologram of their own devising, you really are unbelievably astonished by someone describing with words what you, yourself, have thought.
See, I’m baffled, because I thought we were all pretty well aware of the fact that, while we do live separate lives with our own individual perspectives, we are still experiencing the same events, more or less, and often that means we have similar thoughts. Most people — I should say, at this point, “grown ups” for the sake of the analogy– nod and agree when someone else says something they were thinking, or had previously thought.
“Yes, my thoughts exactly.”
But you. You, Baby Internet, you scream like Criss Angel just descended from the heavens and delivered you the puppy you saw at the adoption fair a week ago. (HOW DID HE FUCKING KNOW?!) You drop your jaw to the floor and a small nuclear explosion consumes everything in a three mile radius from the force and velocity with which you add the message to your social media post.
Internet. It’s only Michael Cera. We all know he’s awkward, sweetie. Shhh. Everyone wants the food they see on TV; it’s why advertising works. Lots of people are socially awkward and introverted (which are not the same thing, but may go together); you are not alone, no matter how much you enjoy being so. This isn’t quite Cave Johnson talking about combustible lemons, here; I really don’t think we need POTAToS levels of enthusiasm to show our agreement.
But this is a lesson you will learn in time, Internet. You finally have context for all the words and stories and images we flooded you with at your inception, and you can’t help but scream your wonder at the world around you.
That’s why I want you to enjoy this while you can, because we’re going to get really sick of your shit when you hit puberty, and I can’t guarantee we won’t find a way to ground you.
Adalind Monroe is a writer from the Pacific Northwest with a serious flea problem, right now. You guys don’t even understand. Combustible lemons are a serious option.
You can read some of her short stories linked in the nav menu above, but none of them have explosions. Yet.