The article “There’s Something Wrong With the Internet” by James Bridle was actually really frustrating to read because I found myself disagreeing often. I don’t want this to entire post to be about why I disliked the article. However, right now I feel like this is the only way I can respond to it.
First of all, I think Bridle exaggerates a lot in this piece throwing around words like “abuse”, “disturbing”, and “violent.” I do understand that many of these automated videos can involve violent scenes–things that young kids should not be exposed to. But where I disagree is that it is straight up abuse. James–have you conducted studies on the effect of such abuse on kids in the future? I’m guessing not. You see, in my opinion, this violence can be completely avoided through better facilitation and adapting to such a new system in human history. I think that young kids should be separated from screen time for awhile, besides watching a movie with the family or maybe to play games here and there.
Otherwise, screen time is entirely unnecessary for the proper raising, teaching and developing of a child. In fact, studies have shown this.
Another thing to understand is that many, many systems created, especially as global and widespread as the internet, have problems when they first manifest. The management of data and especially that of automated data, is going to be challenging. The internet is so extremely vast. A system as complicated and impactful as the internet will undoubtedly have negative consequences–as well as a plethora of positive consequences.
I can think of systems that are much more abusive and lead to violence.
Money is a part of the human’s subjective reality. And ohhh boy does it cause problems for each and every human being on this earth. It can effect you as a kid if you’re growing up in a low income family or as an adult as you scrounge for retirement savings. People kill for money. People will do almost anything for it. That is an abusive system.
I feel as if Bridle doesn’t have a good argument or evidence. He makes general statements such as “What concerns me is that this just one aspect of a kind of infrastructural violence being done to all of us, all the time, and we’re still struggling to find a way to even talk about, to describe the mechanisms and it’s actions and its effects.” Um, what? Which mechanisms? What effects? Which infrastructure?
I do understand that the exposure of unwarranted content given to kids is an issue. But frankly there are ways in which we can adapt to avoid such “violent” effects of the internet. Like I said, the internet has its negatives, yet it has so many amazing, innovative positives. You can learn for the rest of your life on the internet, you can connect with people across the world, you can explore ideas and collaborate on an open source site with strings of code for anyone to use (and therefore make technology better and the internet safer).
It seems to me that we need to adapt in ways that will teach kids at a young age within families and even more important at schools, essentially making us all “internet literate.”
I know that the world is really fucking crazy, whether that be our subjective or objective reality.
I also know that we have created beasts like the internet throughout our entire human history and there’s no need to worry about it.