This lecture from Patricia Lockwood (“The Communal Mind”) is a little strange, a little terrifying, and distinctly captures what the internet felt like to me for those years I was on Twitter and Facebook. A quote, though there are several parts of this worth reading/listening to:
Each day we merged into a single eye that scanned a single piece of writing. The hot reading did not just pour from her but flowed all around her; her concreteness almost impeded it, as if she were a mote in the communal sight. Sometimes the pieces addressed the highest topics: war, poverty, epidemics. At other times they were about going to a deli with a poor friend who was intimidated by the fancy ham. And we always called it that: a piece, a piece, a piece.
Did you read the piece?
It’s there in the piece.
Did you even read the piece?
Um, I wrote the piece.
There’s something Faulkner-esque in the lecture itself, in that Lockwood attempts to capture the actual feeling of being on the internet in language. Not for the faint of heart, and admittedly a little strange. It only bolstered my desire to gain less knowledge, not more.