Why people like me hate the Internet

First, get over the obvious hypocrisy.

My demographic has grown up being good at things.  Good, but not great.  Good enough to be constantly told that we have promise, but not with any real conviction.  We have grown used to being nearly the best at whatever we do.  In that time of youthful possibility, eventually we would be “discovered” by Someone Who Knows People and whisked away to a life of intrigue and excitement and worldwide acclaim.

And then the Internet came along and made that possibility real.  And we were not whisked away.

The fault was no longer in our stars, as it were.

The Internet and the fact that extraordinary people really DO get noticed now confined us to a life of almost-outstanding and unrealized potential.  Made real to us the haunting epitaph from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest: “Here lies a promising old man.”

All hope is not lost though, because extraordinary isn’t the only thing worth being.  People forget that a lot, and have a hard time digesting it when they remember.  Prodigious is not a synonym for worthwhile.

That being said, I hate the Internet.


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