It’s now been ten years. Even an idiot can see the experiment has failed. The cause of the failure?
Children and stupid people got onto the Internet.
2009 was when the big push started, and tech companies decided that everyone needed a “smartphone” that could browse the Internet. Helicopter parents with too much money gave their precious offspring the latest electronic rectangle, and the whole accursed race for social status began afresh.
Why? Why do children need to have Internet access?
For one thing, and I speak from experience here, growing up looking at a flat screen will destroy your eyes.
Kids are supposed to read printed matter while growing up. When young eyes read tiny letters off a printed page, they are scanning a malleable surface. The page is often slightly curved, so that developing eyes have to remain focused to detect the infinitesimal variations in the ink and paper, underneath a trustworthy light source.
Reading printed books and comics makes your eyes stronger. Reading a flat lighted screen that contains literally hundreds of colors and no texture makes your eyes weaker. Trust me on this. I’m right.
So you got your kid to squint at a 2″ by 4″ phone screen to receive almost 100% of their stimulus. Congratulations. You fucked up.
You robbed your child of the subconscious joys of printed matter. On top of that, you get to pay for their eyeglasses for the next ten to twenty years. Way to go. What a model parent you are. You fucked up your kid’s development more than I ever could have, with a mountain of porno. You have fucked up your kids.
The reason those of us who work on the Internet have to put up with the “easily offended” is because of you. You’re the reason why people think Internet access is a right. It’s not. It’s a privilege, which you earn. If you think something on the web “hurt” you, then walk away from the computer and go outside. Run a mile. Walk a dog. Throw a ball. Have a spoken conversation with another person.
Because those neural chemicals, the ones that make your brain happy? They exist nowhere on the Internet. Nowhere.
Do you understand what I’m saying here, as a 20-year veteran webmaster? Nothing on the Internet will ever make you happy. You will never experience love on the Internet. Ever. It cannot happen.
You gave your kid a smartphone? Good job. You built a mental cage around your child, and assured that forevermore, your child will be neurotic and unhappy. For what? Safety? Your peace of mind?
Show me a picture of a happy and safe family on the Internet. Guess what? It’s just a picture. That family was doing something physical and real when the picture was snapped. They’re outdoors, away from the keyboard. They are photographed somewhere exciting, other than their home.
That’s why they are happy.
Show me a picture of a family that bases their lives around computers. What do you see? I’ll bet I can guess.
- They all have glasses.
- The kids look sickly.
- Only one original parent is present.
- They’re all in one room and it’s a pigsty.
- If the mother is present, she dresses like a child and is either sickly or crippled.
- If the father is present, he looks emasculated and aloof (plus sickly).
Even just twenty years ago, kids played outside. If I may make a presumption, I’ll bet you played outside while growing up, and of course you read actual physical books. You enjoyed comic books; not just the material, but the smell, the tactile sensations, the variations in the color and printing. You tacked posters on your bedroom walls, because they were often giant photographs you could lose yourself in.
Before smartphones, children would stare into wood grain patterns of lacquered furniture, or concentric ovals in floor rugs. I used to walk to school in freshly-plowed snow (because of course I did), and passing cars would splash filthy sleet onto it, the brief heat of their engines etching endless caverns in the white mounds. I would daydream that I was flying high above these snowy “mountains” with what now looked like tiny civilizations and dwellings throughout them. It seemed as real to me as any world from science-fiction movies I had seen. It set my young imagination afire.
Do you really want to take all that away from your kids? Why? For what purpose?
Look, it’s not entirely your fault. Stupid people have always been an issue. When I was little there were PSAs on TV telling them not to let their kids eat paint chips off the walls. Can you believe that? People had to be told not to allow their children to peel paint off of walls and eat it. Kids used to chase a ball into a busy street, or retrieve it under a running lawnmower. Distribution of prescription medication had to be changed, permanently, so that kids couldn’t easily pop open pill bottles.
Nowadays? Kids were all over social media eating toxic detergent pods, mere months ago. Ten years back, kids were hoaxed into huffing fermented shit gas to “get high”. Your children are the canary-in-the-coalmine for human stupidity. That is the mark they will leave on the earth, because you wanted them to appear smarter and wealthier than their peers. But hey, now we know the horrors that result if you’re dumb enough to swallow a garden slug, I’ll give you that.
Giving children access to the world wide web is wrong-headed to the point of reckless endangerment. How do you feel about your babies being raped to death or sold to rich pedophiles? If your answer is anything but “not good”, then by all means, chuck their little booties onto the Internet. Imagine yourself at 5 years old being abandoned in the red-light district of darkest Amsterdam. Imagine your childhood self being approached and harassed by the most degenerate, diseased pimps and kid-fuckers imaginable, in front of a peep-show emporium stocked with aisle after aisle of swollen, vibrating rubber dicks.
Imagine if at the age of five, you knew all the horrific, monstrous, inhuman shit you know now thanks to the Internet. By adulthood, would you want to live or die?
Stupid people ruin everything. With my own astigmatic eyes I have seen the Internet go from something exciting and amazing to the outrage network it’s become. In ten short years.
If you believe children have a right to be on the web, it’s all your fault.
Way to go.