With the creation of the internet, information has been growing at an exponential rate. Not only is there an increase in information, there’s an increase in the accessibility of this information to the public. Most Americans can pull out their cell phone or go to a local library and get on the internet. From there, they have access to millions of websites where they can learn anything from how to tie a square knot to how to cook a créme brûlée.
In the early 2000s, when the web was still forming, the internet was simpler. Bandwidth was limited and, therefore, web pages couldn’t support high definition video or high quality images. Navigating the internet was difficult because it took so long to load a single page. When you clicked a link, you hoped that it brought you where you wanted to go. If it didn’t, you’d be waiting for your dial-up internet to reload the previous page.
As technology has seven-folded, so has the capacity of internet. With most connects, it takes only a few seconds to load Facebook. As you scroll down the main page, videos autoplay and images load. When you upload a picture, it usually takes under a minute.
In the beginning, everything was text-based and simple. Web logs (BLOGS) consisted of hyperlinks to other websites. You would go to a blog to find links to funny, worth-while content. Since loading content took so much time, using a blog, you could navigate more efficiently.
High speed internet has resulted in an increase in visual content. When you load a news site like Time.com, you’re bombarded with large video-based ads, highly stylized pages, and large images. Looking at the site now, it’s beautiful and visually pleasing compared to what it looked like years ago.
When I started this blog project, I urged others to start writing as well. Creation is always better when more people are involved. Many of my friends started their own projects but one of them really stuck out to me. She said that she didn’t want to ‘add to the noise’. The internet was so full of useless information, she didn’t want to contribute to it.
It took months but this idea wore into my head. I didn’t think that there was too much noise. Everyone could contribute something! Then, with time, I started to notice something. The internet isn’t simple anymore.
We’ve got Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Reddit, 500PX, ello, WP, Myspace, Soundcloud, YouTube, and ten thousand other social medias. People can express themselves anywhere at anytime. Each of these sites are highly visual and full of information. However, the information that these sites contain are mostly useless. You can scroll on them for hours without really doing anything.
What’s lacking is intent. When we log on Facebook, we don’t have a clear purpose usually. We want to see what people are up to and what’s going on in our online neighborhood. Rather than waiting 5 minutes for our slow-as-crap dial-up internet, we just click, click, and click through pages. There’s no strategy in selecting sites.
Even worse, insides these sites are links that lead to useless sites. The information they contain is mostly junk. Now I wonder if I’m just contributing to the noise rather than serving some greater purpose. There’s so much information out there, are my thoughts valuable to other people?
I feel like there’s a lot of good information out there but there’s no way to separate the useful from the useless. With everything clawing for our attention, how are we supposed to find what we need, let alone display it for others to see?