The professor predicts that this whole Internet thing will soon blow up

“It’s clearly already broken.”

Ugh, the Internet

At a certain point, everyone will get tired of being online, or so goes the argument of a Dutch professor who thinks that eventually the bad will outweigh the good and we’ll all finally get out.

In an article entitled “Internet of extinction” with accompanying illustrations that would be at home in an old copy of AdbustersUniversity of Amsterdam professor and media theorist Geert Lovink poses a question for our age: “Can today’s internet culture withstand entropy and overcome infinite capture as it faces its never-ending end?”

Disenchantment

As baby boomer-aged Geerts writes in the article, which was published by the school’s Network Cultures Institute, his generation “discovered early that the Internet … is toxic and healing.” While his cohort marveled in fascination at that juxtaposition, subsequent generations were increasingly disenchanted, he argues, and, perhaps most importantly, increasingly convinced that the Internet cannot be fixed.

“There may come a time when that is no longer possible, after the adverse consequences can no longer be controlled,” Lovink said. school press release. “The Internet is headed for a point of no return, and Big Tech is probably already aware of that, too.”

“Mark Zuckerberg stepped away from his social media platforms and launched Meta,” he added, “as if nothing had happened and we could start over, but clearly it’s already broken.”

No turning back

Geerts argues that such a point of no return—an “internet peak” moment, if you will—is steadily approaching because, as the release notes, “even ‘ordinary’ users are increasingly paying a price for our widespread dependence on the Internet and addiction to social networks and applications.”

Ultimately, Lovink says he believes “people will start to avoid the technology” as these prices, which are fundamentally psychological, start to cost too much for the average user.

It’s a tempting theory, to say the least. In reality, though, it’s hard to imagine any serious number of people switching off from something so addictive, no matter how harmful it is.

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