The Sad Internet

Call it my pessimistic nature, but I’ve grown a little wary of distributing advice here after the last couple of blog posts. Maybe that’s because I don’t want to seem like I think I’m an expert on recovering from depression, because I am far from it. Maybe that’s because I feel as if the first day of the new year today actually took me even further away from where I want to eventually be mentally. Or maybe that’s because I’ve just run out of good ideas to write about this week.

Whatever the cause, this post will not attempt to address my own personal journey with depression, but will instead focus on something which is universal to everyone – failure. More specifically, I want to examine epic failures, how they are often played for laughs, how they must affect the person or persons who are failing, and how some people can bounce back from them while others never will.

sadinternetThe inspiration for all this comes from an article I read this morning on Yahoo! Tech titled “The Sad Internet: 2014 in Review,” written by Rob Walker. In the article, Walker describes “The Sad Internet” as “a place full of unwatched videos, unliked photographs, unheard music, tweets that no one cared about, and crowdfunding projects that nobody backed.” He goes on to describe several websites which define the spirit of this somewhat morose side of the internet today.

For example, the website Forgotify randomly presents songs featured on Spotify that have never received any listens whatsoever. Petit Tube is a French website which features YouTube videos that have never been viewed by you or anyone else, for that matter. Perhaps the saddest of all the sites mentioned in the article is Kickended, a site which features Kickstarter projects that failed to attract even a single backer.

Walker’s article sort of plays all this for laughs, and it is difficult to deny there is something funny about the idea of forgotifysomething being terrible enough it is unable to attract any attention whatsoever. Then again, maybe it’s not so difficult to deny the supposed humor of the situation. I checked out Forgotify this afternoon, and while 99 percent of the song selections that popped up featured cover art so dismal I was afraid to listen to the actual songs themselves, I felt a tinge of sympathy for these musicians and singers. As atrocious as their offerings may have been, I’m sure none of them believed while they were making their projects that they would be ignored by everyone.

This is a sad internet, indeed. Hopeful entrepreneurs who can’t get a dime to fund their projects; merry jokesters who can’t even garner a single viewing of their best video offerings; and people who are cruel enough to set up entire websites dedicated to pointing out the failures of others. The Sad Internet, though, is really just a reflection of the sometimes sad state of life. People who give it their best shots fail every day, and every day there are other people waiting to rub their noses in their failures. It may as well be called “The Real Life Internet.”

This principle of real life, however, is what makes me not quite as sad for these victims of The Sad Internet as I might have been. Because a large majority of those people who fail in life every day somehow manage to dust themselves off and get right back on the horse again. And even though some of them never produce anything much better than their last failure, I have a certain admiration for their fighting spirit. I tend to let my failures cling to me, causing me to be afraid to try again. At least these “sad” people took their shots.

Of course, the psychology of The Sad Internet could be endlessly explored. For instance, while the internet has been touted as a place to connect people and bring the world closer together, it very often causes feelings of isolation, inadequacy, and bitterness. All of that is a discussion best left for another time, however. I’m going to look for some hidden gems on Forgotify. You never know what prize someone else might have passed over.

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One thought on “The Sad Internet

  1. Here is a more optimistic (and in my opinion more realistic) explanation of why such things have so views/listens/likes etc:

    It isn’t that these low/no view items are bad, it is that people who would like them don’t search in a way that would lead to them, resulting in fewer people blogging/posting/tweeting about them. A recent Reddit thread about PetitTube had many comments with links to interesting and weird videos found via PetitTube.

    Another site that is kind of related to this is Unlisted Videos, a site where the URLs of unlisted YouTube videos can be submitted, making them easier to find for others.

    Take some of these gems for example:
    Anieky a Go Go! (with Mr Louis & Hayato) – Saiko – a rock/jazz/easy-listening Japanese song (less than 70 views).
    Rock/jazz instrumental performance in Japan (less than 20 views).

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