What If We Suddenly Lost A Part Of The Internet?

Earlier this week, Facebook and its sub platforms Instagram and Whatsapp went down for the majority of the day. It didn’t affect me much at all. In fact, it was probably for the best in my case because I didn’t waste time checking those websites just to see dumb Buzzfeed articles and pictures of places I’ll never visit. But during the down time, when Twitter got a lot busier as a result, there was a rumour going around that Facebook may have been ‘deleted’ or down for good as opposed to just dealing with a minor server issue or whatever usually happens when platforms go down.

I certainly don’t use Facebook or Instagram that much, and when I do use them, it’s certainly not productively, but the thought of losing them forever kind of shook me a little. I’ve only had Facebook for about five years, and Instagram for three, so it’s not like I have years and years of my life cataloged on there, but some people do. Some people have a decade of photos and memories saved there. It’s their cloud storage of sorts. I know I’d miss some pictures at the very least.

It's valuable GIF.

We’ve always been told that the Internet is forever, but what if it isn’t? What if we just wake up one day and a part of it is gone? Sites shut down all the time. Data is lost all the time. What would life be like if a tech mammoth like Facebook just bit the dust suddenly? There are a lot of reasons to hate Facebook and Instagram, and we can goof and gaffe about the Facebook Moms not being able to spread misinformation without their precious echo-chamber-enabling platform, but there’s more to them than that, and perhaps we’ve taken it for granted.

Obviously, there’s a huge social aspect to these platforms. They’re social media, after all. Losing them would perhaps mean losing connections to people we value. I have several friends who I almost exclusively communicate with via Facebook Messenger, and to lose that out of nowhere would be detrimental. I also work in marketing. It’s wild to think about how different some aspects of my job and the whole marketing/communications field would be without Facebook or Instagram. Marketing aside, so many businesses use these platforms as their main point of access. Lives could be ruined without them.

Bill Hader Chaos Gif.

But it’s not just Facebook and Insta that hold immense power. What if Discord disappeared tomorrow? What if Wikipedia shut down? Are we too reliant on the internet to just always be there? As someone always online and so connected to the point where my literal job requires it, it’s kind of scary to think about a life that doesn’t have that. But are backup plans even possible? Like, sure I could have copies of every picture I want from Facebook on a physical hard drive, but that’s not enough necessarily. At the end of the day, we’re at the whim of fallible technology or tech giants with power.

When Vine shut down years ago, creators scrambled to save their own content and fans rushed to save their favourite vines, but at least there was a warning and a grace period to get your stuff and get out, and a lot of quality vines are now viewable in YouTube compilations. And now TikTok is here and thriving. As interesting as it would be to see what platforms would rise if others suddenly disappeared, I’d rather not experience it in a way where everyone is disjointed and feeling a loss.

a heads up would have been nice.

That’s my ramble for the week, but I’d love to know your thoughts. What website/platform (other than this blog, obviously) would ruin your life if it suddenly disappeared?

 

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Monthly Look Ahead: October 2021

Hello and welcome to the 400th post on this blog! This is just a quick note to say thanks to everyone reading and enjoying my blog, even milder posts like these Monthly Look Aheads. Here’s to the next 400!

Well, there’s already one neighbour with inflatable Halloween decorations up, so it must be October! Aside from transitioning from ankle socks to full-length fuzzy socks, here’s what I’ve got going on this month.

monthly look ahead logo

  • Curling starts back up again! Last year we only managed about a month of play before Covid cases got bad in the area again and we had to shut down, but this year is looking up as everyone has to be double vaxxed and there are still a bunch of safety procedures in place. I’ve really missed playing, so I’m excited to get back out there and see everyone.
  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage is out this month, and I already have tickets to see it with friends. The first movie certainly wasn’t a fantastic film but it was just the right amount of fun and action and chaos and violence to make it enjoyable, so I’m looking forward to the sequel.
    Venom 2 poster.
  • The HBO TV show Succession is back this month, as are two of the Arrowverse shows that I can’t seem to stop watching.
  • Ed Sheeran’s album = is out on the 29th. I’m not a huge fan of the first single from this album, but I loved his last solo album a few years ago, so I’ll definitely check it out.
  • Also releasing an album this month is celebrity love of my life Darren Criss on the 8th, and it’s a Christmas album, which I will definitely have overplayed by the time it’s socially acceptable to have Christmas music playing.
  • On the 16th, DC comics is doing another DC Fandome, which is an online convention of sorts. I thought it was really well done last year on its main day, so I’m definitely excited to see how it goes this year and get a peek at upcoming content.

Aaaand that’s my October so far. I usually don’t think about Halloween and pumpkin designs until like a week before, but maybe you’re better than me and are already planning stuff out. I’d love to know. Who knows, maybe I’ll go to a pumpkin patch this year instead of buying one at the grocery store…

Pumpkin GIFs | Tenor

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On Media Polarizing Fans

I consume a lot of media. I am a fan of a lot of media. I’ve extensively seen fandoms grow, die, explode, and more. It’s fascinating to me. While it’s always a treat to see fans come together for better or for worse the way they did recently on Tumblr during the Supernatural nonsense, one thing that’s been very interesting to me recently is fandom divide.

Personally, I did not love the recent Marvel show Loki. Out of the three Disney+ Marvel shows so far, it is my least favourite without a doubt. I know people who did like it, and that’s great for them, but I did not. And while most people in my life are able to discuss the show and our differing opinions in a reasonable, mature way, it was quite an experience to then go on Twitter and see such anger and hate for aspects of the show, with most of it surrounding Sylvie and the relationship she had with Loki. What’s more, is that it went beyond simply not loving the show or maybe not loving it compared to other shows, but people got so personally angry and passionate about their stance that the fandom was a messy, dramatic, unhappy place. And I didn’t even seek it out. This is just what I saw on my timeline! I can only imagine what it was like in the metaphorical trenches.

It's brutal out here gif.

I don’t think Marvel purposely set out to make a show that’d rile up fans so much. I think they knew that any love interest for Loki would be a point of interest for better or for worse, but the way people got so heated and analyzed everything so much was probably beyond expectations. At the end of the day, it is just a TV show. I’ve been attached to characters/shows/plots/whatever too, but to let it ruin my mindset so much that I go online and be constantly angry about it is just a tad step too far, I think.

However, similar to the phrase “all publicity is good publicity,” I have to ask: is all fandom good fandom? While I don’t believe the Loki showrunners planned for a large fandom divide, sometimes it clearly is a publicity tactic. Shall we all think back to that year of Team Edward vs Team Jacob? All the merch sales that campaign brought in, all the schoolyard fights that were started…the polarization and the passion did that. Even having Hogwarts Houses that people identify and group into can be an example of this. In an era where hashtags can affect a show’s renewal chances, it would be a smart move from a piece of media to purposely polarize the fandom and start conversations. Because people love thinking they’re right and people love telling others they’re right, so social media and the unhinged culture of fandoms is perfect for that.

The Internet Is A Breeding Ground For Freaks gif.

In fairness, I can’t think of many other recent shows where there was something that unintendedly divided a fandom for the worse, so it’s certainly not like A Thing that’s overtaking media, but it’s interesting when it does happen.

What are your thoughts on this subject?

 

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I Wear Blue Light Glasses Now

I spend basically all my waking hours looking at a screen. Between work, socializing, blogging, and consuming content, it’s a lot, and sometimes it’s more than one screen at the same time. Probably, it’s not the healthiest lifestyle, but it’s one that’s likely going to be my way of life for a good long time. We’re not here to judge me. Or, at least, not for that. What we can maybe judge me for is the fact that I now wear blue light glasses, and let me tell you, they are not cute.

Not A Good Look GIF.

I’ve never struggled to look at screens at all. No headaches, eye issues, or anything, and I sleep perfectly fine. So it wasn’t like I needed blue light glasses, but I figured just in case they do have some long-term preventative effects, it’s not going to kill me to wear them. I do wonder if, in fifty years or something, there’ll be a bunch of data saying that the excessive screen time (that we’re all doing) has caused my generation to have more health issues than my parents’ generation. I wonder this about a lot of things. Is carrying around a cell phone contributing to health issues? Are our salt lamps quietly omitting harmful chemicals? Who’s to say.

Back to the blue light glasses. Studies show they actually don’t do too much and may be a placebo! But there are people who say they help with focus and reducing straining. Again, I’ve never really had any issues, so after wearing these things for three weeks, it’s not really a surprise that I feel like they’ve done nothing for me.

I think they fell for it.
The makers of blue light glasses

Except annoy me. I don’t have prescription glasses (ya girl’s 20/20) and I don’t wear sunglasses too often on account of Rarely Going Outside, so wearing glasses for eight hours a day has been an adjustment because it’s all new to me. I have to consciously remember to put them on, I have to remember not to touch the lens, I have to remember to lift them when I want to rub my eyes. And they hurt! The part of my skull right above my ears kind of mildly hurts from having the glasses resting there. I sometimes alleviate the pain by tilting my glasses up, but that looks even goofier.

Not that anyone sees. How I look in these is between me and God. They come off as soon as other people get involved. And when they do come off, my dragon lamp has proven to be a perfect holding place.

Apparently these glasses were less than 10 dollars and non-refundable, so I’m stuck with them, but even in these three weeks, I’ve developed a respect for people who wear real glasses all the time. It must suck. I’m sure one day I’ll have to as well for reading or driving or whatever, but hopefully that’s not for a long, long time.

Do you wear blue light glasses? Do you find that they help your eyes or sleeping?

That’s all for now.

 

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The Good Stuff: Cool Dragon Art From Smaugust 2021

Like Inktober in October, Smaugust is a month-long community event in August for artists where everyone creates art on the same theme. That theme, if you couldn’t tell from the name Smaug, is dragons, so obviously I love it. I have the tag saved on Instagram and scrolled through often to see all the hella cool art made by some wildly talented artists.

Since Smaugust is over now, I thought I’d share some of my favourites that I found throughout the month. Everyone’s Instagram handles are linked below the slideshow, so if you want to see more of their art, click away!

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Follow these artists here:

 

I am in awe of the talent these people have! Such good work! And I hope you enjoyed looking at this sample of art as much as I did!

That’s all for now!

 

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