Back in the spring of 2018 I would wake up with a jolt from an alarm on my phone best described as a siren. In order to stop this early morning torment I would grab the phone, turn off the alarm, and while I am already at it I would open up a few applications to check what’s new. These applications would include Instagram (for my daily dose of jealousy and envy of what everyone else was doing), Apollo (for my daily dose of US politics, world news, and more envy and jealousy of other people’s work), perhaps a news app or two (for my extra dose of politics and misery around the world), and lastly my email or Slack (to see what would stress me out that day).
This browsing would get a quick break as I was commuting to work, because I would read some kind of book during that time, but then continue throughout the day. Not only was I voluntarily taking in information from across the world, but I was also continuously getting messages from friends, work, and other sources. It was a constant stream of notifications that sometimes made me wonder if I was actually wearing an Apple Watch or a vibrator.
The internet has enabled the flow of information across the world in ways that are both wonderful and horrific. In some of the most remote corners of the world you can still access a website like Wikipedia and educate yourself about obscure topics. You can talk, and share ideas, with a person across the globe—enabling friendships across nations. But you could also end up consuming propaganda of any sort to become enraged and radicalised.