Would You Take This Deal?
Not that anyone offered it and it’s not like we have a choice anymore, but would you take this deal? If you were offered the internet, today, knowing what you know about its evolution/devolution, would you want it or would you want it banned?
Everything in life is a double-edged sword, of course, so there is no reason to expect any new thing to be 100% for the good, but somehow I think the internet is much closer to a 50/50 balance, possibly worse.
I must admit that I was skeptical of the whole internet thing when it started. Our firm represented a ton of start-ups on the internet and, while there were a handful of true visionaries in the early days, most were snotty kids with Foosball machines who sneered at my questions about how they planned to transform clicks into dollars. Many went public, almost all folded soon thereafter, and I became increasingly convinced that nobody would ever make any money from this thing. One of my first encounters with a civilian on the internet was some guy writing 5,000-word screeds about how he hated his neighbor.
I underestimated the potential, of course. First, companies learned to generate revenue selling advertisements to reach us and then they pivoted to selling us directly to advertisers, developed anti-social media, found new ways to track and target us, and convinced many of us that our participation was somehow free.
And here we are, today, with the incredibly mixed bag of costs and benefits from our “free” participation in this global rager without guard rails. So, would you accept this deal, knowing that it includes:
So, net-net, has the evolution of the internet made our lives better or worse? Do we gain more or lose more as individuals and do we gain more or lose more as a society? Certainly, the cost/benefit balance could be greater or lesser for any of us individually versus all of us as a nation, but none of us is experiencing the online world as 100% good or bad.
So, where would you come down on the internet? Boon or bane?
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Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.