As we wrap up 2018 here at NJroute22.com – we’re kind of perplexed. At the state of the world – both online and off.
We’ve been an internet publication for about nine months or so. Making some slow, but steady progress. Getting traction these days takes a while. Even longer if you don’t have a staff of full-time employees gaming the online “algorithms.” Or believing they’re “influencing” the population.
But that’s okay – because it’s real for us. And that is all that matters. But what about everyone else?
Hype and manufactured “trends.” Can you see the difference?
Unique viewpoints as recently as 20 years ago were plentiful. A very wide spectrum of “characters” with very obvious differences between them. Sure, some aspects overlapped, but you could easily identify what was individual.
Today – it is more robotic. Cookie-cutter. Sterile.
I understand that many people try to communicate in ways that the internet search engines will “rank” them higher. They adjust their words, topics, and more. In some very specific situations, that does make sense to slightly adjust some text to improve your chances.
But I think this is taking a different, more dangerous path. The loss of TRUE INDIVIDUAL THOUGHTS.
Everyone wants to jump on popular bandwagons. Even if that means losing what is important to them as individuals. They want the “mob” to follow them – regardless of what they talk about. It’s kind of insane if you ask us. A popularity contest with no real long-term winner.
Chicken, Egg, Fox, Hound, or Lemming?
It’s kind of a short-term, long-term quagmire. Or as some might have said at some point in the past, penny wise and pound foolish.
According to our observations since 300 baud dial-up BBS connections (if you need to know what that means – click here), the online world has gone from an awesome “Wild West,” to a brain-dead insane asylum.
While the winners and losers were being sorted out – it was fun. You could find almost anything – and very accurately and quickly.
Today? You get pre-determined results, the same old crap (unless you spend an insane amount of time “digging”), all of which amounts to the beginning of the end.
Unless something changes.
Can you control people so easily?
I say this because we’ve noticed an absolutely PROFOUND change in how you “find” things online.
In just the past few years (even more so in just the past year or two), “search results” have been utter rubbish. And this goes for most things – except the “far out” stuff that hasn’t been corrupted yet.
Big corporations. “Mainstream” propaganda. Pop-culture.
The unique voices out there have been squelched.
If one wants to be found these days – it better be what the “hive mind” is currently thinking.
This is troubling for us – even if we don’t use the top three search engines. Sites like Duck Duck Go or StartPage don’t give dramatically different results (as they tap into other major engines). It’s time for a better way.
Little publications need help
First off – if you find anything worthwhile about NJroute22.com – please share with your contacts. Email. Social media. Word of mouth. That is a good start.
Secondly – if you find other publications you like – do not forget about them. Either subscribe to their newsletters (if they have them) or use something called an RSS Reader. It’s your own personally-curated list of sites that you find valuable. We use InoReader every single day (instead of social media or other MSM sites) to discover topics and stories that align with our values.
And within those sites that you might value – see who they value as well – and build your own cache of “trusted” sites you can read. You might never need a search engine again if you’re diligent enough.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel?
We hope so. It appears the latest (post-millennial) generation is showing some positive signs. The tide may be turning.
Additionally, it also looks like the hype of social media might be waning as well. “TMI” as many might say. It’d be great if the days of photographing every meal would come to an end. And don’t get us started about the prolific rise of the narcissistic human being. All time high!
Having independent, uninfluenced thoughts and ideas needs to make a comeback. But how that will happen without the technological prison most people have voluntarily entered remains to be seen.