Living Inside The Internet

Living Inside The Internet

"Ready Player One" was on to something.

One of my favorite things to do is sit down and talk about life with my parents and grandparents in the same room. I’m incredibly interested in the different perspectives we each bring to the table and I feel blessed to have an opportunity to hear firsthand accounts reaching all the way back to the 1950's. Intergenerational communication can be tough, though. One huge difference we face is the reality we each experience -- our differences in values and, really, just what we spend our time doing. My grandparents are both in their mid 60's, meaning that the Internet has only been commonly used for about a quarter of their lives. My parents, in their mid 40's, did not grow up using it, but were introduced somewhere around their late 20's-early 30's. Then there’s us. At 24-years-old I can still remember when we first got AOL dial-up in our home. I think I was 5 or 6 years old. E-mail and news sites, as well as informational places like Wikipedia was popularized in my early adolescence, and MySpace emerged as a social media giant the year I started high school. The Internet, in so many ways, is a defining characteristic of our generation, and the way it is perceived by us is often vastly different than the way it is perceived and used by many other groups of people.

Fast forward a few years to when smartphones moved from a luxury to a commonplace item. Access to the Internet -- whenever and wherever -- has changed the way it is used dramatically. Here is where the generations start to diverge in our perceptions. I want to preface the rest of this article by noting that this is the opinion of a single person (me), and I do not presume to speak for the immense sea of ideas represented by the term “Millennial” or any other generation. I do not believe that people are a certain way depending on when they were born, but I do believe that world events and societal demands push people in different directions as time progresses. My mission in this discussion is not to present anything as fact, but to make observations and hopefully spark conversation between people of different perspectives and age groups.

A sharp schism between the Millennial understanding and more traditional understandings of the Internet lies in its purpose. What are we using it for? Originally it seems like the Internet served as a sort of digital library. Websites were far more text-based in the beginning -- even the online gaming community was heavily text-based! But that’s not what it is now. The Internet is no longer a catalog that you go to when you need information and then leave until the next time. In every sense but the physical, the Internet is now an actual place.

I’m sure there were many eyebrows raised at my last statement, so let me explain my reasoning. More than ever Millennials and Gen Zs (and, admittedly, many others) are “hanging out” through their computer screens. Endless streams of Facebook messages, tweet exchanges and community document editing are now a part of many people’s everyday lives. Classes can meet online via video calling or Google docs, employers are turning to instant messaging and virtual conference rooms. Even our leisure time can easily be spent in bazillions of entertainment options thanks to the explosion of the online gaming community and film streaming.

I recently read a book called “Ready Player One," the premise of which took place in an evolved version of this Internet place. People had become so immersed in the Internet that they only got offline to eat, sleep or go to the bathroom. They didn’t care about clothing or leaving their homes because everything essential to survival was delivered to their door. Their bodies were attached to workout machines that moved with them as they interacted with the virtual world so that they would still get their exercise. Even money only mattered online, the place where their school, work and leisure took place. Sounds crazy, right?

Maybe not as crazy as it sounds. While this, of course, is an extreme version of a contemporary phenomenon, many of these concepts are rooted in today’s very real society. You actually can live solely on the Internet. Food actually can be delivered to your door for every meal. You actually can find a job online, interview via Skype, complete paperwork remotely, work from your laptop, have your paycheck automatically deposited into your account, make friends remotely, hang out with them in online games and never ever ever leave your house again. This is what the Internet means to us. I’m not implying that most of us never leave our homes; I don’t believe that. What I do believe is that the Internet itself has changed the face of reality for those of us who came into adulthood using it for so many aspects of life. It’s redefining who we are and what we think about. We are actually starting to form identities based primarily on our Internet presence as opposed to our tangible presence. What we say and how we look online may one day be far more important than what we say and how we look in person.

I’m not here to comment on the value of this change, just to point out that it exists. More and more I am beginning to realize just how significant this period of history is. Did the people living when the printing press was born realize how revolutionary that invention would be? How it would standardize languages and make literacy the norm? Is our experience with the Internet comparable? I’ll let you decide.
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25 Responses To Your Friend Who Doesn't Text Back

Omg thanks for responding so quickly...oh, wait.

We all have that friend. That friend we love to death, but if we are sure of anything in this world, it’s that they will not respond to your text because they suck at texting. That moment when you see “Read 1:04 p.m.” and you’re like “and???? Helloooooooo!”

These are 25 responses for that dear friend.

1. Lol thanks for tagging me in that FB post, now text me tf back.

2. OMG, wait you met Chris Hemsworth and he’s professing his love to you??!! No? Okay, then you can def text me back.

3. Hey I’m coming to help you since you obviously broke your thumbs and can’t respond.

4. Lolol thanks for responding. I’ll just continue the conversation with myself. That’s cool.

5. Good chat.

6. Yeah I wouldn’t know how to respond either, pizza topping selection is a thought-provoking process. Take your time. Meditate on it.

7. The classic: ^^^^^^^^^

8. I hope you’re writing me the 8th Harry Potter novel.

9. That was a yes or no question. This isn’t difficult. You wouldn’t do well with ‘Sophie’s Choice.’

10. Omg, did you pass out from the excitement of getting a text from me? Totally understandable. Text me when you regain consciousness, love.

11. Omg what a witty and clever response. Nothing. So philosophical.

12. The only excuse I’ll accept is if you’re eating guac and don’t want to get it on your phone. Because avocados are life.

13. I love it when you do that adorable thing when you don’t text me back for hours. So cute.

14. Okay I’ll answer for you. Yes, you’re going out tonight. Glad we had this convo.

15. In the time it has taken you to respond, dinosaurs could have retaken the earth.


17. The dramatic but also very valid response: That’s what happens when you don’t respond for 30 minutes. People die.

18. I apologize for asking if you were coming to watch Bachelor, clearly the decision has caused you serious reflection on your priorities. I’m sorry to have caused you this existential crisis.

19. Sorry I annoyed you with my friendship. But like plz respond…

20. Your response time is longer than Ross and Rachel’s entire relationship. 10 seasons. You couldn’t text me back for 10 seasons?!!

21. Wait. You’re responding too fast. I can’t keep up. Hang on. Don’t respond so quickly. Jeez.

22. A subtle but perfectly placed gif. What will you go with? The classic eye roll perhaps or maybe a “you suck.”

23. Did you fall off a cliff? Wait, you don’t exercise. Pause your Netflix and respond b*tch.

24. Omg I WON THE LOTTERY. *responds* Lol now you respond…

25. And my personal favorite and go to, Did you text me and then decide to THROW YOUR PHONE ACROSS THE OCEAN?! Lol swim fast, I need an answer.

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3 Reasons I Did Not Like Halo As A Kid

It was a meh game


Halo: Combat Evolved was a game that revolutionized the world of video games. Even to this day, the Halo franchise is a powerful force in the world of video games (not necessarily for good reasons, looking at you REC packs). Many of my friends grew up loving this franchise and idolizing Master Chief. I was not one of those people, here's why. Before I get into this I just want to say I don't hate Halo its just as a kid I preferred other games and this is why.

1. No aiming down sights

In shooters, I try to be as accurate as possible when I shoot. I lean towards things like single shot rifles and snipers instead of shotguns or high rate of fire rifles. It was just how I liked to shoot. The shooter I grew up playing was Call of Duty, particularly Call of Duty 2: The Big Red One. So when I went over to my friend's house and we played Halo, something was always off. In the early days of Halo, not all guns could aim down their sights.

When I found this out it baffled me. Why would you not want to aim down the sights? Shotguns and rocket launchers made sense but rifles and SMGs just seemed wrong without sights. It bothered me since I was so used to aiming down the sights to be as accurate as I could be.

2. Master Chief is a boring character

I've always liked stories. I particularly like the stories in video games. The possibilities are endless in the world of video games. Which is why I'm saddened that Master Chief is such a boring character. He is a yes man. All he ever does is follow orders, at least until Halo 5. I get that he is a badass that has saved the galaxy from the flood and worked with the Arbiter and whatnot. He can do all of that but he can't act human for 10 seconds.

3. The weapons were boring

It feels like when they were making the game, the human weapons were just going down a checklist. Full auto rifle? Check. Burst Rifle? Check. Sniper Rifle? Check. etc etc. The alien weapons were the more interesting ones to me.

That was the case until you look at them and most of them are the human weapons but they fire plasma which works functionally identically. Only the sword, needler, and gravity hammer were interesting, and that's because two of those were melee weapons.

So all in all, the guns were uninteresting, the main character was just a dude that follows orders, and I couldn't be as accurate as I wanted to. All of that made for an experience that felt more like something that should've been in the bargain bin instead of the thing my friends wouldn't shut up about. All of this isn't to say Halo is bad, I have lost many hours to playing this with my friends, Halo was just not as interesting to me as other games when I was a kid

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