One of these days, and I don’t think it’s all that far away, I’m going to junk the laptop, turn off the cell phone and go back to the way things used to be.
I’ll get up in the morning, have my coffee and a muffin or toast, then I’ll take my one mile walk or maybe go to my club and walk the Front or the Back 9. Then I’ll maybe visit one of my favorite local museums – Costco, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Home Depot – and perhaps purchase a piece of fine art like a reading lamp or a small tool. After that, I’ll come home and re-read a Joyce Carol Oates novel or a mystery by Henning Mankell. Right now, I’m reading Old Filth by Jane Gardam – she can really write.
What I will be doing is divorcing myself entirely and completely from the internet because I don’t want that horrendous pile of digital crap to have any more connection to my life.
I don’t remember the last time I turned on my browser without seeing an advertisement for something I don’t need. The internet isn’t an information superhighway, it’s an advertising superhighway being used to peddle whatever anyone wants to sell and hopefully make buck.
Don’t get me wrong. I have no issue with anyone who tries to sell something to me or to someone else. But in the olden days, the pre-internet days, if you wanted to sell something, you either stuck it on your lawn, or you opened a retail store and stocked the shelves, or you purchased space in a newspaper or time on radio and TV.
That was then, this is now. And now all you have to do is become a Facebook subscriber, put a photo of something you want to sell on your Facebook page and away you go.
Now, if you’re really serious about making a buck by selling something to someone else, you sign up for one of Facebook’s advertising plans which will get your merchandise in front of millions of Facebook users whose viewing habits indicate they might be interested in buying whatever it is you want to sell. Then you can get really fancy and connect your Facebook page to a website which will let potential customers purchase and pay for your products without moving out of their living-room chairs.
And do me a favor, okay? Don’t buy any of that nonsense about how the whole point of the internet is to provide users with venues to exercise ‘free speech.’ Remember how Trump’s Truth Social media platform was promoted as an app that would break through the censorship imposed by liberal media like Twitter and Facebook? It turns out the reason Trump’s social media gig is failing is because, according to investors, it’s not generating enough income to stay alive.
Which is simply another way of saying that Truth Social isn’t attracting enough ads or enough entrepreneurs who want to use the app to sell whatever they want to sell.
I wouldn’t mind it so much if the internet was just being used by people who want to use it as a digital lawn sale. But when TV networks which claim to be running news programs let their reporters and commentators use their shows to peddle some product or other, we have entered a world which the definitions of news, or information, or communication, has collapsed.
Take Greta Van Susteren. She broke into news media big-time when she appeared as a nightly commentator during the trial of O.J. She ended up with a Fox News gig which closed down in 2016, then she went to MSNBC and now is doing a show for Newsmax, which is the alt-right equivalent of CNN.
She’s supposed to be commenting on the news and interviewing this person and that, but in fact, what she really does is peddle a bullshit home remedy called CBD Green Leafz which is supposed to relieve anxiety and stress, promote relaxation reduce chronic pain and all kinds of other wonderful things. I don’t know how large the market is for this kind of crap, but Mehmet Oz among others has made quite a name for himself by promoting the same kind of junk.
And when Greta was asked how she got into the business of selling patent medicines online, she had the balls to say that she “wanted to give something back.” Now exactly what she’s giving back and to whom she is giving back remains unsaid. But the bottom line is that she wouldn’t have had the slightest chance to make a buck in this area if she hadn’t first become a news personality by telling us everything that went on every day in the courtroom with O.J.
Last night I watched the NBC National News with their anchor, Lester Holt, blabbing away. In 30 minutes, they had no less than 14 advertisements for products, none of which do I really need.
Think there’s a chance that ol’ Lester holds shares in one of those companies which wants me to buy some new vitamin or a mattress that will make it easier for me to fall asleep?