For its financial backers, the purpose of the internet, especially social media, has never been connecting people, or building communities, or allowing people to access information. The internet has always been a tool for collating data on potential customers, all over the world, combined with new ways of reaching them with more precisely targeted decoys and persuasions, and, finally, a portal through which to actually sell them things.
Happily for them, it has turned out to be effective beyond their wildest dreams. Its vast scope and reach, its universal accessibility has amplified sellers’ messages and influence a thousand times. Even better, innovative coding has made the medium itself increasingly addictive and inducing of obsession. It’s brilliant!
However, for them it remains a tool, a particularly effective and exciting new gadget, not an all-encompassing, totally absorbing, escapist alternative reality. Increasingly wildly enriched and influential, these financiers, executives, IT engineers and coders remain pragmatists, inhabitants of the real world. Think how many coders of algorithms designed to be addictive restrict their children’s access to the internet.
We, their victims, though, have become helpless fantasists, dependent on the fumes of hopeless dreams