It is my endeavor to articulate the reasons why I believe that the internet, and especially its connected portable devices and its social medias, are weakening the resolve of our society’s individuals, as well as increasing the narcissistic tendencies of those individuals.
I have debated for a long time about whether or not to continue to add my voice to the endless noise of opinions on the internet. Using the internet to publicly decry the problems with narcissism and social media seems the height of irony and hypocrisy. But as I read the words of men like Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, and Wendell Berry, I realized that these men spoke for the ideals they believed in, and warned others about the destructive behaviors that were becoming normal during their time, at the risk of being labeled a contradiction. So I join with these men, and Uncle Walt, when I say “Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”
I do not suppose to compare myself to these literary giants, I merely believe that a prophet has yet to arise from this generation to warn against its vices, so until such time as a worthy voice is able to find a platform in this new world, I humbly submit mine in their absence. I believe that there are many who are asleep and oblivious to the dangers of this generation, and if I can contribute to their awakening, my writing will not be in vain.
One way that I have hoped to eschew the hypocrisy inherent in sharing one’s opinion on the internet, is that I have made this work available as a printed manuscript for consumption by the means of ink and paper.
I have intentionally denied my readers the instant gratification of clicking a link to read this article, and have opted instead for the you to take a deliberate initiative in order to read my latest essay. You might consider it a social experiment: to discern the level of interest of my readers, to measure if it is greater than the effort of a single click of the mouse. I have found in the past, that the majority of people will agree to hear what you have to say, as long as it doesn't require of them any effort. In the economy of the internet, a single mouse-click is perhaps the most worthless currency. It requires very few muscles, almost no time at all, and at any point, if the audience becomes disinterested with what they're reading, they can instantly jump to any other piece of information in the known universe which more adequately satisfies their fancy. This phenomenon is a distinct example of a symptom of weakening resolve the internet has produced in today's society, and one which I hope to decry in my essay.
Therefore, I ask you to enter into an experiment with me, something of a verbal agreement, to invest your time, a small bit of money (to cover printing and shipping costs), and a small bit of commitment, so that you can become a participant in proving for yourself this notion that intentionally leaving the digital world to briefly return to the physical world truly is a fulfilling endeavor, even if it's only for a limited amount of time.
There's nothing new about the idea of holding a printed work in your hand to read it; the book-printing industry hasn't yet collapsed; but it has become strange and abnormal to desire a piece of information that isn't immediately accessible, and I'm asking you to willingly engage in this abnormality with me.
If you'd like to read my thoughts on intentionally leaving behind the artificial to immerse in the physical, please request a printed copy of my essay below:
This is a physical copy of my latest essay titled "Intentionally Analog" which is not available to read online anywhere, but can only be found in this printed copy, in keeping with the spirit of ideals outlined in essay itself.
The price covers the printing and shipping costs.