Why the Internet Is a Supervillain and We All Have Stockholm Syndrome

8 Apr

Stockholm Syndrome: a condition that arises when victims of a kidnapping or hostage situation begin to sympathize with and even defend the person who has them captive.

I’ll be honest. I know this feeling. If you’re on the internet right now, reading a blog, you know the feeling too. When we first got involved in the internet, it was weird. Uncomfortable. Foreign.

The library website knows my card number? WHAT ELSE DOES IT KNOW ABOUT ME?

Disturbingly Moriarty-esque, the internet pulls us in with knowledge of us and the things we love – and then it keeps us doing what it wants with those same things. It makes you believe that the only way to beat it is to do something drastic like throwing yourself off a high place or cancelling your facebook account.

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Both terrifying.

But then, your mind starts to change. The internet starts to become commonplace.

Well, I really ought to keep in touch with my friend’s friend from Japan, so I’ll make an account on Google Plus for that reason.  

But then?  You’re in the middle before you know that you’ve begun. Just as you start to realize that the internet’s become normal, it becomes needed. You’re in a brutal Hunger Games arena of knowledge and entertainment and what is now “social,” and you have to compete to survive. Without it, you will be left to forage on your own in the increasingly frightening wilderness, not even being able to Google which berries are not deadly. You can’t give it up. And, in fact, you don’t even want to.

I can’t stop Pinterest. I have important stuff on there! What if I delete my boards and then someone proposes to me? The wedding will be a disaster without the 1,327 pins I saved for that very purpose!

And the cycle is complete. We have Stockholm Syndrome. Beginning the journey that is the internet, we hoped that our effect would be like Belle’s effect on the Beast. We dreamed that our being close to the internet would turn it into a loving being and that we would both be the better for having been together. But the internet turned out to be Gaston – he wants to make us love him, but he won’t truly love us in return.

And, thanks to the syndrome, we stick around anyway.

There are a lot of good reasons to be on the internet. I know this very well. But there are not as many good reasons as there are bad ones. I know this very well.

So I’ll start small. Just take some time away from this supervillain today.

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4 Responses to “Why the Internet Is a Supervillain and We All Have Stockholm Syndrome”

  1. The Voyager April 8, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    Ugh. The Internet is seriously my greatest (physical, if you can count the Internet as such) enemy. I hate it so much. And yet I adore it. I think about giving up YouTube and I cringe. It’s ridiculous. It makes me asdfghjkl all over the place. Darn being the core of the digital generation.

    • Emory April 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

      Right? That’s what I’m saying! The internet totally messes with my head, and I know it, but it’s so hard to think about leaving it. It’s so important in this day and age. Also, thank you for using asdfghjkl as a verb. That made me very happy. 🙂

      • The Voyager April 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

        Oh, you’re quite welcome. It’s very a versatile part of speech.

  2. Merrilee G Lewis April 9, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

    You are such a great writer!

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