Do I miss the days where people would engage with strangers instead of staring mindlessly at their phone? Of course not, that sounds like genuine hell.
And while it goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoy ignoring everyone around me when I’m out in public, I am somewhat curious as to how much our day-to-day lives actually rely on the internet. A lot, it seems.
Sure, we use the internet to shield ourselves from unsolicited conversations, but we also seem to change our behaviour based on what the net dictates. Don’t believe me? Come along, let me show you the world 20-or-so years AIC (After Internet Connection).
1 . ACTUAL DANCING IS A THING OF THE PAST
Oh god, I cringe to think of what’s to come at weddings in a few years time when people whip out a ‘classic’ dance move. You think The Twist is cringe? Wait until we’re 65 years old and swinging our arms around like that Backpack Kid.
Safe to say at least one tradition will live on – children being mortified as they watch their parents try to be hip and cool in social situations. Even Ralph gets in on the action in the upcoming Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet. Sheesh.
2. ORIGINAL JOKES AREN’T ORIGINAL
Now I can’t speak for everyone but my friendship group relies heavily on rehashing memes and catchphrases we found on the internet and passing them off as our own, witty and totally original jokes.
In fact, my friendship group has gone so far down the rabbit hole that we don’t know what jokes we’ve stolen and what jokes simply spawned from actual conversations. Come to think of it, I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a conversation that doesn’t reference the latest online trend? Maybe I need to get out more. Maybe I just need new friends.
3. IT’S ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO BE SURPRISED
Regardless of how you spin it, the internet has well and truly desensitised us as a society – we have access to videos on quite literally any topic imaginable. Feel like watching a compilation of people smacking their heads on diving boards? Go for it. Want to listen to two-and-a-half hours of someone yodelling? Easy as.
It takes an incredibly creative mind to take the internet generation by surprise, so don’t worry if people start looking like they’re permanently disinterested in everything – they just are.
4. IMPATIENCE IS THE NEW BLACK
Can you even imagine buying anything and having to wait more than a few days to receive it? If talking to strangers is hell, shipping delays are its conjoined twin.
Thanks to apps, express posting and 24/7 access to online stores, we’ve become increasingly impatient and frankly, pretty unbearable. No joke, I went to my Ma and Pa’s the other week and deadset cracked it when their internet took more than six seconds to load a page. It was a tense situation.
5. KNOWLEDGE IS VAST BUT SHORT-TERM
As the old saying goes, “With great knowledge comes a complete inability to retain any of it.” I think?
Unfortunately, because we have the capacity to access answers to every burning question we may have, the habit of Googling something, spouting off the factoid and then forgetting it three seconds later is a hard one to break. I swear I’ve googled Miley Cyrus‘ net worth 40 times and I still couldn’t tell you if it’s 20 million, 20 billion or 20 dollars. Why do I need to retain such information? I can just check again when I need to know.
6. YOUTUBE VIDS ARE THE NEW FREE-TO-AIR TELLY
Does anyone actually watch free-to-air TV any more? I mean, I know it still exists, but I’ve been trapped in a YouTube bubble for such a long time that everything else in life seems like a fond, distant memory.
Just the other day, I woke up thinking it was June when it was actually October. Somehow I lost four months and the only memory I have is staring fixated at a screen as cats get closer to accomplishing their mission of world domination. It’s either world domination or breaking every manmade object in existence – whichever comes first.
If you’re still not rudely reminded of how much we’ve been conditioned to rely on the internet, check out Disney’s Ralph Breaks The Internet on Boxing Day. You’ll be disturbed by how many references to the world wide web you’ll understand.Image: Instagram / @willsmith