The New Internet
The Internet has come a long way since it’s advent over half a century ago.It now features color and sound, but there is still work to be done.The Internet is not yet the innovative, prescient, comfortable experience that users would like it to be.It’s time for a New Internet.I propose a series of quick fixes to help the Internet user move forward into the 21st century.
The single most utilized feature of the Internet is digital mail.Everyone emails, and invariably gets spam mail too.Spam bogs down your inbox, spreads computer viruses, and frustrates you.This is because emailing is free, whereas snail mail requires postage.On the New Internet, there will be digital postage stamps.Chain emails will disappear, and annoying advertisements will have to find another way to get to you.Everyone will think longer before they send an email if there’s a stamp on it.Moreover, this has the potential to open up a whole new hobby for Internet users: digital stamp collection.
Another fault in the Internet lies in its obsessive cleanliness.There is no dirt anywhere, mostly large tracts of white, open space, and anemically pristine scroll bars and icons.And there are no plants or animals to be found hidden in the margins of google.com.The New Internet will certainly have bugs.In fact, a line of ants will walk across your screen at times, to remind you that you’re never alone when you read something.If you type too fast in the New Internet, ink smudges will develop.Or if you highlight too much, the text will fade.
No one likes waiting for webpages to load, so appeasing bored users is another burden the New Internet must take up.While you’re waiting for a page to load, a cute animal will walk on screen.You can pet it, feed it, push it offscreen with your cursor.On birthdays, in the New Internet, there will be balloons.They will block some of the content, but how fun will it be to pop a balloon between your mouse and the red “x” button in the corner of the screen?
Perhaps the most fiercely hated feature of the Internet is the endless, constantly refilling stream of advertisements.With all the stamp revenue email providers receive, the Internet won’t need or want that corporate ad money.In all the boxes and sidebars where the ads were, there will be emoji hearts and inspiring quotes.You might be wondering, “How will cool new online products advertise themselves?”In the New Internet, if a user is abusive, saying rude things online, plagiarising content, watching only the highlights of movies without finishing them, or committing other unsavory acts, they will get ads served to them.Of course, some people will miss the abundance of ads so much, that they will go to websites full of just ads to get their fix.Who are we to say no to this habit?
The New Internet will also have more serious purposes.It will provide trigger warnings for readers who want them, because sometimes it’s more important to be free from speech online, than it is to have free speech.Also, since people can post such hateful things behind a veil of anonymity, the New Internet will eliminate this anonymity.And if you still want to say something evil and problematic, you can do it, but every angry reply will be sent straight to your inbox.
Internet dating, and the very fabric of romance itself, will be revolutionized by this new platform.You’ll be sitting in a chatroom, feeling lonely, and one by one, everyone will leave but that one person whose profile matched up with yours perfectly.Just the two of you are left, and the music will get slow, and the screen will start to dim and it will get a bit foggy.The chatroom will go private, and it will be open all night long.
The Internet needs saving from itself.Its users have become complacent, and must renovate their habitat.A creative lens must be applied to make the most of the online spaces we have.The range of possibilities, opened by the virtual spaces we have spent decades developing, must be harvested.No solution is too simple.