The Internet… According to Me – Rebuilding the Internet
Each individual person has a different idea of what the internet is, as we all access it for various, differing reasons. While one person may be extremely deep in the hole of social media, posting, commenting, and sharing on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, others may spend hours researching across the web. Others use it to shop, play games, stream shows, videos, or livestreams. It can be a great tool to connect in many ways, and it is available to do dangerous and immoral things. While we may not all agree with or understand the reasons and ways others use the internet, it is undeniably a beautiful creation allowing for incredible expression. This post is all about the internet according to me: what I think of whenever I ponder the idea of what the internet means to me.
To explain this collage, or mind map of sorts, I will touch on each of the six segments separately, explaining the imagery accompanying it, starting with the top left, moving downward, then repeated on the other side. Kicking us off is Discord. Years ago this would have been Skype, but nowadays, Discord is an incredibly useful tool for many while online. Not only does it allow for users to connect with others through voice chat, but text channels allow for countless more possibilities. Personally, I have a Discord server I created for me and my friends to play games and talk in our free time, but it has also served to keep those who have moved out of state connected with the rest of us. On the left of the logo is my friend Shane, while on the right is my friend Bryant, the two I talk to the most online. There is also a microphone and headphones accompanying my friends, representing what we typically use the service for.
Moving on, we have Facebook. I’m not a big user of the platform and never really have been, and I find it funny to joke that only geezers use it nowadays. Because of this, I drew a cobweb and a generic old man, representing my perceived userbase of the site. I felt that leaving it at that would be unrealistic, though, as I know there is more to Facebook than being old, so I added some of the reaction options you can leave on posts–an easy way for the elderly to communicate without having to remember how to spell words they learned 70 years ago.
The bottom left is the home of Google Chrome, the superior web browser. It is an incredible tool, and without it (in a world where other browsers don’t exist), none of these other platforms and services could be accessed in the first place. I use Chrome to access my emails, bookmark important pages, search for information, and connect with others, as you can see through the accompanying drawings. I also found it fitting to add in a mouse icon as it is the way to navigate through it all.
On the other side, YouTube is the king of the hill. This one symbolizes a soft spot for many people–a place to wind down after a long day, or to take one’s mind off of the world around them for a few minutes (or hours if you fall down the rabbit hole). YouTube is timeless, serving as a time capsule for culture, values, and essentially the world as a whole. I drew Rick Astley on the left to represent meme culture today, as there are deep roots in both YouTube itself and the Rickroll meme. You can see the top of Pewdiepie’s logo above the YouTube logo, someone that many know, as he has over 100 million subscribers on the site. There are also art supplies and a camera to represent art channels and “vloggers” (David Dobrik and Vlog Creations specifically) to help sum up my YouTube experience.
Next, we have the first of a tie for my favorite part of the internet: Twitch. As I’m typing this, I actively have 3 different livestreams open on my other monitors. I love the community aspect of it all, and there is an unbelievable amount of fantastic content, from video games to cooking to art to real world adventures. On the left of the Twitch logo, you can see an example of one of the many emotes on Twitch, this one being ludwig7 (representing the streamer saluting to the camera), from the streamer Ludwig (Ahgren). It’s a very popular emote, and one that binds his community together. To the right of his head, you can see what looks to be a gem, representing a “bit”. Bits are the built-in donation system on Twitch, allowing you to support your favorite creators. On the right is the penguin character that serves as a logo of sorts for the game Teamfight Tactics, or TFT, which has a community on Twitch that I am a big part of. There was even a point in time where I livestreamed three to four times a week on Twitch, playing TFT, interacting with the community that way.
The final bit of the internet according to me is Steam, the second part of the tie for my favorite part of the internet. Though I play games that don’t require the platform to purchase and/or download, my library of games on Steam is extensive and some of my favorites are on it. I’ve included drawings representing three of my favorite games that I own on Steam. On the upper left is Isaac, from The Binding of Isaac, one of my most played games. Covering him and behind the Steam logo is the logo for ARK: Survival Evolved, a game that I have been playing a lot recently. On the right is the character that serves as a symbol for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (or CS:GO), which is a game that I keep coming back to every few months. Below the logo is an old console controller, which, while it isn’t what I use to play games on Steam, helps represent the fact that this is the hub for video games.
Though this isn’t necessarily a traditional map, this entire drawing serves as a bit of a “mind map” for me, showing what kind of goes on in my head in relation to thinking about the internet. In the middle, I’ve drawn one of my favorite pictures of me, showing that this all ties back to my personal experience. As I mentioned at the top of this post, everyone views and thinks about the internet differently, and I hope that I have proven that by showing my thoughts.