Reflection Topic: Have your say: “What could we do to put an end to the worst of the internet?” — Jia Tolentino
A reflection paper for my Media Theory class for the lecture on Technology and Culture/Medium Theory and the Jia Tolentino essay “The ‘I’ in the Internet”
The worst of the Internet is the by-product of its social and economic evolution in the hands of the capitalists in control of it. It led to platforms governed by advertising and business opportunities, propaganda, and social interactions that bankroll on popularity more than accountability, on sensationalism more than civility. It gets to the point that likes, shares, followings, subscriptions, and just about any means to be accepted, appreciated, and turn out viral in cyberspace become more than just new bankable currencies in a fast-changing world. The Internet is now being weaponized for the ultimate need for profit and/or power.
As what Tolentino said in her essay, the Internet has become a haven for capitalists that dismantling its fundamental profit model is the only way to put an end to the worst of it (Tolentino). For me, it would ultimately be a global economic collapse that could do it and not just collective efforts by individuals or even institutions – which may not necessarily be accompanied by social collapse as a direct catalyst for its sudden demise. I agree with Tolentino that what we can realistically do to combat the worst of the Internet from penetrating our lives to the fullest is retaining our humanity before it’s too late.
In line with this, I would like to share my 5-minute short film during my stay in Korea in 2008, which became my reminder of how we are already being enslaved by technology that our interactions are becoming as machinated as our tools, how people’s relationships are becoming more and more mechanical that everyone is starting to look and act like robots. Link to the film: https://youtu.be/wa16dG_vu5Y (Soriano).
Soriano, Rianne Hill. Technophilia. Colorwheel Media Studios and Korean Film Council, 2009, https://youtu.be/wa16dG_vu5Y.
Tolentino, Jia. “The ‘I’ in the Internet.” Trick Mirror: Reflection on Self-Delusions, Random House, 2019, doi:10.1108/eb060207.