Why Is the Internet So Exhausting? Blame Your Crowdsourced Bosses

It’s old hat by now to say “you are the product” on social media. Often, that bon mot is used to explain why social media is free to access. But that’s just barely scratching the surface. After all, this idea of intangible goods, bound up in the self, didn’t even begin with the internet, but with the 20th century turning our very psyches into a strip mine. Today, we’re not just eyeballs delivered up for advertisers, we are the Main Character of the internet’s deepest libidinal needs: the day’s villain, hero, romance interest, or incomplete story.

• WIRED • 2,402 words • 11 minute read

Articles about how shitty the practices of companies built on advertising-based business models are no longer surprise me, but they still piss me off and this one is no different. I do, however, love how Katherine Cross weaves together pretty much all of the internet shittiness that’s going right now and how it’s making us all miserable.

But it’s her description of cryptocurrencies and NFTs that really resonated with me:

At bottom, cryptocurrency, and the NFTs created to give people something to buy with crypto, are simply capitalism creating nonsense goods to financialize. They bear no relationship to anything real or tangible, and instead exist purely for the sake of being collected and traded. There is no better way of understanding an NFT except as an ostentatiously empty non-thing that is imbued with titanically inflated value by sheer will and shitposting; indeed, it might be considered the pure apotheosis of this phase of capitalism.

The whole NFT space is pure capitalism writ large, with the incredibly shitty behavior that gives capitalism such a bad name on display for everyone to see.

Cam Pegg