The Internet turned 25 this year. Timmy Mowafi writes an online ode...
Happy 25th birthday, World Wide Web! It’s been a fun ride! I remember when you were just a little Netscape logo on the corner of the one family computer in my house. Remember when we first met?... Mother shouting “TIMMY CHECK E-MAIL, TIMMY CHECK E-MAIL” from the other room, excited that she’d just won a few million dollars from a Nigerian prince, the flashing lights from Microsoft Outlook illuminating your face in front of my bewildered eyes. Ahh, good times! Who knew we would grow up together so close?
We’ve been through a lot you and I, we’ve grown together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve loved together, we’ve cried together and there’s been a lot of tissues involved. To be honest I thought you were a bit of a dick at first; you only ever wanted to play with me when someone else wasn’t using the telephone but then we bonded at break times in school over online games. I wonder what those athletic pixilated semi-circles are up to these days, eh?
Before I had my first phone, I had MSN messenger and with that I learned to type fast without looking at the screen, something the intense IT classes in school could never teach me. The urgency in wanting to talk to your crush is a far better motivator than re-typing up Penguin books with a piece of paper over your hands. It taught me the basics of flirting, of not seeming to eager, waiting just the right amount of time after she pops up on your list to make contact, updating my status regularly to show my intellectual and sensitive side... Not much has changed, I suppose.
It seemed, at that point, like we were a match made in heaven, and then you decided to and ruin my life around the same time I hit puberty. Porn. What did you think was going to happen, man?! My hormones were all over the place, my libido was a volcano of lust and you just shove all these easy, topless, beautiful women right into my face!These are some seriously unrealistic expectations to look up to but, in hindsight, at least when I did eventually go around to having actual human sex I vaguely knew where everything was. Very vaguely.
I forgive you for that though, because in all fairness you did get me through secondary school graduation with all those Spark Notes, and plagiarised essays you lent me. Oh and the music! Fuck dude, no one gets my music like you do. No one gave me music like you did! Kazaa, Bear Share, Limewire, Myspace... Kilobytes and kilobytes, shaping my cultural surroundings. You single handedly started settling the case between nature and nurture; through Google I suddenly had the choice of how I want to be nurtured. You started to change though, man; you started to think you were cool, you wore WIFI. I know I never told you this but you looked kind of retarded, I mean miles and miles and miles of cables and wires under the sea and you give me a couple of meters of freedom. Pff.
I know we started growing apart in my late teens, I was too busy chasing tail, and you were too busy transcending a lost oneness in humanity, manifesting man's natural instinct to connect to one another, and when we were finally re-united, there was Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. There was Web 2.0. But you had this frustrating habit to ambiguously simplify the human condition through Likes, captions and cat videos. I balanced it out by absorbing a vast amount of knowledge I never bothered to in school; you taught me about the beat generation, about quantum physics and music production. Finally, you gave me my first and my only job, and my business - together we are creating an empire. I now live off and live on the internet.
Through all the bullshit, thank you for making peace a possibility, for being a true democracy where the smartest prevail collectively, where governments can no longer throw their bombs about, lest they face the wrath of a compassionate planet.
I can’t hold you, I can’t touch you but you're there, always. Even if I one day decide to alienate myself from this fast-paced mimetic society of 9Gags, Buzzfeeds, Tumblrs and Gawkers, if I decided to go run away into the jungle forever, and live a life of basic solitude like a tribal Amish, the journey would only be possible through a Google search.
So, thank you internet. 3obal 100 sana kaman, but listen mate, I saw Her. Don’t fuck us over now, yeah?