Sure, the Internet is a modern marvel.
It allows us to communicate instantly with people across the globe, has generated millions of jobs, and even helped to foster revolution, but some reports suggest that beneath all the benefits of the Internet it’s slowly but surely making our lives worse.
So before you say “fuck that” and go back to live-tweeting your game of Fallout between YouPorn sessions, have a read of this…
Young Men Can’t Have Normal Sex Lives Because Of Unrealistic Standards In Pornography
You might think cracking one off to all that porn twice a day is fine but, if you’re between the ages of 12 and 20, your brain is going through its period of greatest neuroplasticity, a time when the patterns and behaviours that you engage in can become hardwired for life.
Porn, with its unrealistic portrayal of sex (where are all the gaps where they have a sip of water and catch their breath?), inevitably leaves young men unsatisfied with the reality of what goes on between the sheets.
The fact that lads are wanking alone in their bedrooms to pornography in which dead eyed robots fuck each other with no love or compassion can lead to misguided ideas of sex and relationships, while also promoting unrealistic body image.
The result is that young men will develop lifelong sexual pathology and be more likely to engage in riskier sexual behaviours, which are fine in moderation but not when it’s an addictive compulsion.
How many times has the Internet ruined your enjoyment of a film, TV show or book because some cretin on Facebook insists on posting reviews of every aspect of his life? It’s endemic, right?
Facebook needs to add a Newsfeed feature that allows you to block certain words like “Star” and “Wars”. In fact, Google have gone so far as to develop a Chrome extension that warns you when you’re about to enter sites that may contain mentions of Star Wars. It’s a bit shit though, unfortunately…
Google Is Replacing Our Memories
Don’t worry, Google isn’t gaining access to our memories somehow like Tyrell Corp in Blade Runner and supplanting our memories with images urging us to buy a particular product or watch a movie… Wait, hang on, no wonder I keep eating McDonald’s and watching Adam Sandler movies!
In actual fact though, our memories are getting shitter as we increasingly rely on our computers to remember information like phone numbers and the date of the Battle of Hastings (1066 – didn’t even have to look it up).
One study even claims that, instead of remembering information, we’re remembering where exactly we accessed it online. Still, it might actually free up our brains to think of other ideas, only time will tell. Just don’t expect to win at Trivial Pursuit this Christmas unless you’ve got your phone handy.
Facebook Is Addictive
What’s the longest you’ve gone without logging into Facebook? One day? Two days? Most Facebook users would probably rarely be away from it even for that long.
From experience, my longest periods away from that blue loveliness is when at a music festival with a dead phone – there’s definitely something rewarding in checking in on that hungover Monday to see a stockpile of comments and messages, like injecting calming nicotine directly into your eyeballs.
According to one study this is indicative of Internet Use Disorder, which causes people to become anxious and jittery when not online – “My name’s Stuart and I’m an internet-aholic”.
It’s Also Making Us Depressed
I don’t think it needed a study to confirm that use of Facebook is associated with jealousy, social tension isolation and depression.
Anyone who’s ever had to wade through the fake self-promoting status updates of the perennial winners from friends in their Newsfeeds (whose Facebook page is in no way a reflection of their real lives) or witnessed the attention-seeking thinly disguised putdown (usually begins with “some people pretend their your mates”, etc), will know that is basically all Facebook is.
Is it any wonder that this Belgian study claimed that people who socialised more on Facebook than in real life reported less life satisfaction?
A recent study concluded that frequent users of Facebook were more likely to be accepting of a post that contained racist content.
The researchers set up a fictitious account belonging to a young white guy named Jack Brown and then asked participants to rate how likely they were to agree with his statements. The posts ranged from claiming white people were superior to blacks, that white people were victimized by society, and a final one which promoted a non-racist stance where Jack detailed examples of anti-black prejudice that he had witnessed.
The results concluded that the more frequent Facebook users were more accepting of the racist messages, which suggests that frequent Facebook users (ie. most of us), are more racist. Or, more likely, it means that we see such a dearth of hateful wanker content online that we tend to just ignore it, knowing full well that it’s just the work of some jilted cretin spouting nonsense because he’s insecure and probably has a tiny cock.
It Spreads Extremism
It doesn’t take Reich Minister of Propaganda Herman Goebbels to see that the Internet, with its billions of users, anonymity and cheapness is basically the perfect propaganda machine.
Groups like ISIS, Al-Qaeda and One Direction have been using it expertly to spread hate and extremist views that directly influence the shape and political outlook of our societies, and pop charts.
In 2011, the UK government claimed that the Internet has radically changed the speed and effectiveness with which extremists can radicalize people in Britain. Meaning you don’t need to go to a White Supremacist meeting, or travel to an ISIS training camp to spread hate – you just switch on your laptop.