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?

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’

 

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?

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’

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!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

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!

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’

The Good Stuff: Silly Inventions Online

The other week, a friend and I found a Twitter account of a guy who purposely makes silly, dumb inventions. We spent an hour scrolling back through two years of Tweets to see what he’s made. Obviously, we were very amused. This guy also reminded me of a few people I had seen on YouTube who do similar things. As someone who has literally no machine/building skills and nowhere near as good of an imagination, I find this all to be very cool. Like, to have an idea and then have the tools and brains to make it happen, even if it’s a silly idea, is fun to watch. So here I am, sharing some of my favourite silly inventions from my favourite silly inventors.

Also, sorry if these embeds are aggressively large. It was the WordPress default and I was too lazy to change them all.


Matty Benedetto proudly invents things that do not need to exist and then does professional photoshoots for them as if they were real products one could buy.


Simone Giertz is a Swedish inventor who has survived a brain tumor. She lives in LA now and calls herself “the queen of shitty robots” as a lot of her inventions involve robots and moving pieces. Check out some classics from her YouTube channel:


William Osman is an engineer of sorts who has very chaotic energy, which makes his videos and inventions very fun to watch. But he has a good time giving things a shot and getting others involved in the madness.


Michael Reeves, the youngest of the bunch, is similar to William. In fact, they lived together for a while. He also is incredibly chaotic and good with programming to solve problems that no one had.


I’ve never gone out of my way to find these people, they’ve just stumbled into my view through YouTube recommendations or being sent a silly Instagram post, but it’s cool that I can be so amused by them. And it’s neat that there are people who have careers from making such fun but unnecessary things. These are just the ones I know of, but I’m sure there are many more out there, so link me to any you know of! I hope you enjoyed what I’ve shared here because rewatching them all in preparation for this blog post was very fun.

That’s all for now!

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’

Online Privacy: To Care Or Not To Care

At work once we were talking about online privacy and trust. It shouldn’t be a surprise that if you’re on the internet, you’ve agreed to give some large companies continuous info about you, whether you know it or not.

As a person in marketing, I know that this data is what is used to market things to people, so I can’t be totally against it, but it’s still kind of scary to think about how many strangers or unauthorized companies can know far too much about you, even if you are a safe, responsible person online.

that's just a little bit creepy gif.

There’s the argument that since we’re using Facebook and Gmail and stuff like that for free, our data is allowed to be collected (and used for marketing) as a trade-off, and while I guess that makes sense, it’s still kind of gross. Especially because that privacy doesn’t kick in once you do pay for an upgraded account or something. And with more and more companies just monopolizing everything like Amazon does for example, I think some have way too much info. If they get hacked, you could be screwed.

It’s about sacrifice and what you’re comfortable with, I guess. As a young person very connected and reliant on the internet, I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that my data is taken and out there. It’s just kind of how it is, and I don’t care enough to fight it. My boss, when we were talking about this, was like “every app you have is tracking you!” and he’s right, but like, okay, I hope Mario Kart and McDonalds enjoy me. I want those apps because they’re fun/easy/useful/whatever, and I don’t care if they know my general location or age.

i don't care right now gif.

Not that I ever really use my browser history, but I like having it, so I stick with Chrome as a browser though I know that some Google rivals like Duck Duck Go don’t save that stuff in the name of privacy. I guess it’s unfortunate that I have to choose to give Google my whole self in order to use a fairly basic feature, but that’s what the internet has come to.

On the flip side, my I-don’t-care attitude has limits. I have a little webcam cover on my laptop that I can slide over the lens. I keep it covered unless I’m using the camera, though I don’t really have anything to hide. If someone hacked my webcam, they’d see me lipsyncing to songs overenthusiastically or frowning at my screen because I think I have a slight resting frown face when I focus on things. I don’t really care if anyone sees that in general, but no one should. The fact of the matter is humanity and computers and whatnot can not be trusted, so my little webcam cover must protect me, and that’s an extra step I’m willing to take to make that happen. For the same reason, I don’t like Alexa or any of those in-home assistant robots. I don’t trust them. It’s too much.

I Don't Trust You gif.

It’s worth it to think about your comfort levels and the things you can do to protect yourself or fight back through alternative apps/software that don’t read/steal your data if you want (because there are genuinely good companies and systems out there if you look for them!), but at the end of the day, if you’re online, you’re probably being tracked to some extent, and that’ll probably never change. And as long as we don’t reach creepy robot wars or Alexa takeovers or something, it’s probably fine and just another example of some predatory, money-hungry businesses being the worst.

If it makes you feel any better, though WordPress at large probably does track stuff, the only info on you that I can see as this blog owner is what countries visit the site and what posts get views. It’s thrilling data.

 

Follow me: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Bloglovin’ / Goodreads