“I’m 30 years old and I miss the old internet”, journalist Marie Le Conte has published a book in which she nostalgically describes how the online world was better at the turn of the century.


Journalist Marie Le Conte has published a book in which she describes with nostalgia how the online world was better at the turn of the century, without mobile phones, social media and influencers. Many people do not realize that the Internet was invented by the military for espionage purposes.

The Internet is changing our society. Where we used to depend on local communities to keep in touch with each other, this is no longer the case. Journalist Marie Le Conte has published a book in which she describes with nostalgia how the online world was better at the turn of the century, without mobile phones, social media and influencers.

The Internet is changing so fast that there are already 30-year-olds looking back with nostalgia. In his new book titled Escape: How an Internet Generation Was Shaped, Destroyed, and SurvivedFranco-Moroccan journalist Marie Le Conte deplores the evolution of the Internet during the first two decades of the 21st century.

The book provides a kind of cultural history of the Internet. She compares the Internet to an old bar that gets more and more popular until it becomes unrecognizable. She still goes to this bar, but now she sits in a corner, more alone than before. EL PAÍS spoke by video conference with Mrs. Le Conte, who has lived in London since 2009, where she works as a political journalist. His online life began with blogs dedicated to independent music. Social media has become an anonymous place to find friends, fame and even sex.

Today, that’s all gone in favor of algorithms, influencers, and more passive consumption. But Le Conte did not run away. The Internet is still “my home,” she says. However, it is no longer an intimate and cozy space, but “flat, boring and lifeless”. Before, the internet was not real life. Now he is. In his conversation with EL PAÍS, Le Conte explained some of the most important points of his book.

Today, the Internet connects people all over the world and enables global conversations. It changed society in many ways, from cultural exchanges to social and economic development. It has rewritten many rules of engagement and the Internet has enabled many new ways of thinking and connecting.

It gave us access to an almost endless source of information, from news sites to local news sources. Today we can access any source of information from anywhere. The Internet helps young people express their opinions and political freedoms. This is encouraging, as it shows the positive impact of the Internet on political freedom. Increased access to faster and cheaper Internet connections can help topple powerful leaders.

It is estimated that about 95% of all available information has been digitized and made accessible via the Internet. This processing system has also brought about a complete transformation in communication, availability of knowledge as well as social interaction.

“I have identified two periods of the Internet,” explains Le Conte. “In my formative years, it was mostly a place for people who weren’t very attractive in real life: they were very strange, they didn’t have many friends and their hobbies were weird. Le Conte includes herself in this list: “We all found ourselves in this space because in real life we ​​were not good,” she explains. In the second decade, everything changed. “The second phase probably started in the early 2010s. At that time, literally everyone joined us. All of a sudden, spending all my time online became completely normal,” she recalls.

This is when the bar was “occupied”. Being online was no longer special. This distinction between the digital and the real is negated: “At the beginning of 2020, real life and the Internet have finally completely merged into one world,” she says. Everything that happens or is said on the Internet is already true. It has ramifications at work or in your private life and is forever linked to your identity.

Conte says he uses Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and most other mainstream apps, but marked TikTok as his limit. “I don’t like it. I’ll never have TikTok on my phone because I’ve tried it and I hate that it won’t let you search or watch what you want. It’s completely run by algorithms. It’s so frustrating. I’m human . You can suggest things to me, but you can’t dictate what I see,” she says. The most common use of TikTok is not what you follow or what specific topics you like, but what the algorithm decides.

Le Conte doesn’t want TikTok’s algorithm to decide for him. In her book, she explains how algorithms that recommend ads or other content came into her life. As an original blog reader, she sees algorithm-driven recommendation engines as an unnecessary, albeit nice, add-on. For Le Conte, the algorithm is “like a pet”. “I’m aware that there are people in Silicon Valley who want to control my movements to sell me things, but they are distant and insignificant. “I preferred my online life when I was alone and I could decide everything, but I was left with no choice,” she adds.

Many people don’t realize that the Internet was invented by the military for espionage and communications purposes in the 1960s, so it’s no surprise that noble intentions have continued the trend of spying on citizens via the Internet in the name of national security. The Internet violates the right to privacy and encourages people to break down privacy barriers by posting photos and personal information for the world to see.

Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, TikTok: big names of social media and most of us use them with a passionate addiction. In fact, chances are that if you don’t already have an account on a social networking site, you’re under constant pressure from family members and peers to create one in order to “connect” with the fast-paced world. quickly around. you.

For some analysts, the Internet is a dangerous mechanism that affects the global community in many harmful ways. In other words, there is more harm than good on the World Wide Web.

Look at the modern 10 year old. His life revolves around television and the Internet, which have become his teachers, parents and peers. Everything he knows comes from these “bad” sources, affecting his social skills, family dynamics, and practice. In fact, research shows that an increasing number of children prefer playing computer games to spending time with their friends, which should make people wonder about the future of this society.

The truth is that the Internet damages human relationships and encourages dangerous, immoral and unhealthy habits such as obesity and low IQ. Moreover, according to research, children are exposed to harmful knowledge at a younger age through the use of the Internet, which affects them psychologically throughout their lives. For example, pedophiles and rapists have been linked to an increase in Internet pornography in their past.

“This debate is simple, but people are not willing to give up the comforts of life for a greater and long-term good. I won’t go so far as to encourage the complete removal of the Internet, because it’s not practical. The World Wide Web also presents countless advantages, such as the opportunity to get closer to each other and bridge international cultural gaps; however, a balance must be found between the advantages and disadvantages of this innovation, which is essential to ameliorate the social, moral and human dilemmas of society,” says Francis Bacon, Philosopher of Science.

Source: Book Escape: How a Generation Shaped, Ruined and Survived the Internet Hardcover by Marie Le Conte

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