Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Wide Weird

If the Internet has taught me one thing, then it is that I am not so weird. When I search the Web for information, I almost always find a page or a site with a multitude of facts, figures, pictures, and statements regarding the subject for which I searched. This is especially impressive because I seek knowledge on a great variety of random and rare topics; I am the self-proclaimed queen of obscure facts. Sometimes, I search for outrageously odd things just to see if I get any results — I do. I always find what I want on the Web. Actually, I usually find more than I want.

This phenomenon is especially comforting when it comes to self-diagnosis. If I begin to experience sickness symptoms of any sort, be it sore throat, rash, drowsiness, or headache, then I search the Web to discover what illness might be plaguing my system. On the Web, I find that many other humans have suffered from the same symptoms as I, and that, in some twisted way, puts me at ease. Knowing that other people have lived through a similar ailment, and have been so generous as to provide electronic testimony on the matter, assures me that I am likely not experiencing the symptoms of an incurable disease. Thank you, WebMD.

Unfortunately, the power of the Internet also has evil effects. The Web has convinced me that I am not alarmingly weird, yet it has also made me feel that I am incapable of producing original ideas. Whenever, I think that I have discovered some genuinely unique perspective, I find similar (or better) perspective on the Web. The Internet makes me feel like there is nothing I could do that hasn't been done, say that hasn't been said, or even think that hasn't been thought. Due to this, I sometimes refuse to reference the Web for information. This type of self-restriction is somewhat brutal; the Web compels me to search it. But by restricting myself, my ideas remain to be only my ideas; avoiding the Internet preserves my creative genius. And yes, I am using the term "genius" loosely.

The World Wide Web is remarkable. I am truly and utterly amazed by it and thankful for it. However, I appreciate a bit of "weird" every now and then, and I hate that the Web makes me feel so overwhelmingly normal. The World Wide Web and I have a love-hate relationship. I love that it assures me that I am not supremely strange, yet I hate that it makes me feel as if I have no imaginative thoughts.

I wonder if anyone else has this type of ambivalent relationship with the Web. Perhaps, I will Google it . . .
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