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By Johannes Helmold
It is not easy to forget what life is like without the internet. I seem to be locked into the internet, with almost every endeavor I do connected to it. I think this is the major issue with the internet: it has become so useful that it has taken over my life, including countless others. Sometimes, making something better and better gives way to making life situations worse.
If I want to write, edit, make music, be entertained, learn, play games, communicate with others, visit new places (at least artificially), to research, to apply for jobs, and more, I use the internet. It is dangerously convenient: over the years, with the advancements of the internet, I have come to employ the internet for more and more functions. This gradual reliance, or over reliance, on the internet has made me a different person.
I feel less sociable, more adverse to sunshine, and less likely to go out and do an activity because I know it is already on the internet. This makes me more sedentary, introverted, and less healthy from a lack of exercise.
It seems most of the modern world is hung up on the internet throughout their day. It can be accessed via laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets, even watches and other accessories. Wifi access is ubiquitous in cafes, restaurants, offices, and most types of establishments. Besides this, an internet connection bought according to data can be used when there is no wifi around. Wherever I go, I see people on their smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices seeking out pages on the internet.
I do not doubt that in the near future, we will insert internet modems directly into our bodies, or have apparatus that will combine the human body with the capabilities of the internet. Becoming a cyborg is not only a fantasy—it is only an eventual future, and I believe the internet will be a big part of this future.
But what does this mean? I suppose our evolution as human beings will change dramatically according to our addiction to the internet and the countless ways we can access it. Our eyes will enlarge or change shape to adapt to the constant viewing of screens, our backs will change form or adapt due to our constant sitting and crouching over, and our body will have to learn to counteract the constant radiation we are suspected to from screens.
But will this evolution come fast enough? Technology is developing faster than we can evolve, most likely. Within a few decades, we might take our evolution into our hands by becoming cyborgs. This artificial evolution will either be good or bad, but most people are guessing that it is for the detriment of our species.
Unfortunately, it does not seem like there is anything we can do about this development. The world is now revolved around the internet for business, education, entertainment, information, and more. The only thing we can do is limit the time we spend using the internet in order to not remain addicted. We have to set limits ourselves, or else we will be consumed by the internet. Our identities will be attached to the internet, and not to our essential self, which is much beyond what happens on the internet. In fact, we have several identities these days: our business identity, our family identity, our internet identity, and hopefully our spiritual identity. To my dismay, I believe our spiritual identities are being lost in light of the overuse of the internet. We become so engrossed in notifications, news, and updates that we do not stop to introspect. We only wait for the next thing to see in our internet lives. The time we spend with our families and friends are often tasks for us, as we cannot wait to get back to the internet, or that we can feel the pull of the internet even during interactions with our loved ones. This is perhaps the saddest part of internet addiction.
I have been addicted to the internet for over a decade now, and it has not done me well. I have become less social, less able to appreciate the moment, less sensitive to human feelings, and and less attentive. I do not see me changing my ways anytime soon, however, as now I have sealed my life into a cycle of addiction that will probably last until my last days.
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