My mom brought home a computer and my brothers helped her set it up on a little table in the kitchen. This was around ‘96 or ‘97. We popped in a disc containing dial-up Internet service “Mindspring,” and 30 minutes later we “logged in”. I was six when I first entered the Matrix.
I got my first cell phone in middle school. It was 2004. The popular selling point for phones then was a flip-open screen. Internet was browsable by text only. If you happened to have a phone that would load images, it was on a one inch screen. But I still found ways to abuse text-only Internet!
My first video chat was on a website called Stickam!
when I was 19. My rock band's post-practice ritual was to hop on a video room and chat with potential new fans, and it worked - we used Stickam to jump start a legitimate Internet following. People watched us hang out, practice, record, and perform. That's when I realized the Internet was a dream-maker.
When I was 23 I retired from my hairstyling career and began my life of Internet citizenship as a social media marketing consultant. Like a Stephen King plot, I dropped everything and became a drone for an invisible hive mind, evangelizing door-to-door for brick-and-mortar businesses to sell their goods and services on the Internet.
It’s been seven years since the Internet started paying my bills. Since then, it’s taken over the use-cases of nearly every facet of my life.
My finances are decentralized.
My religion is decentralized.
My friendships are decentralized.
My societies are curated a la carte.
And it's all controlled from a 4 inch piece of plastic.
I know I’m not the only one. Kids are waking up to this all around the world. Infinite information on an equal playing field is great for society, and dangerous for the individual. Our ancestors warned us of losing ourselves to groupthink of the tribe. We inherited a global tribe the day we signed up for the Internet.
It's up to us as individuals to use this power to reach into the past and consult a multitude of counselors. To stand on the shoulders of those giants and see further than society - First for ourselves, then for our families, then for our local communities, and ultimately for the greater salvation of man. It begins in the heart and mind of the individual.