With my right arm in a cast, I tweeted less, but I still read stuff on the internet. Here are a few things I found, starting with a collection of library photos like this one:
Instead of asking, “is Facebook making us lonely?” and aimlessly pondering Big Issues of narcissism, social disintegration, and happiness metrics, as in a recent Atlantic cover story, we should ask: What exactly is it about Facebook that makes people ask if it’s making us lonely? Everything wrong with Facebook, from its ham-fisted approach to privacy, to the underwhelming quality of Facebook friendship, stems from the fact that Facebook models human relations on what Mark Zuckerberg calls “The social graph. (…) [Outside of Facebook] Internet friendship yields a connection that is self-consciously pointless and pointed at the same time: Out of all of the millions of bullshitters on the World Wide Web, we somehow found each other, liked each other enough to bullshit together, and built our own Fortress of Bullshit.
The man who shot and killed Osama bin Laden sat in a wicker chair in my backyard, wondering how he was going to feed his wife and kids or pay for their medical care.
Segregating the old and the sick enables a fantasy, as baseless as the fantasy of capitalism’s endless expansion, of youth and health as eternal, in which old age can seem to be an inexplicably bad lifestyle choice, like eating junk food or buying a minivan, that you can avoid if you’re well-educated or hip enough.
But then one gray morning did Internet Explorer 6 no longer load The Google. Refresh was clicked, again and again, but still did Internet Explorer 6 not load The Google. Perhaps The Google was broken, the people thought, but then The Yahoo too did not load. Nor did Hotmail. Nor USAToday.com. The land was thrown into panic.