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The Melting Pot

A digital, cultural conversation

The most beautiful part of the day has everything to do with the Internet.

Sunsets are journeys.

They are the ends of trails, starting from nothingness in the darkest hour to the faint flecks of a glowing ball to pure light and prosperity, and finally making their full circles to darkness yet again. That glowing orange profusely flowing from the ball’s center acts like remnants of wisps too far removed from the center to really matter, but wisps that are beautiful anyway.

When it comes to the Internet, we are all sunsets.

Ever wonder why tweens on Facebook will fill their statuses and profile pictures with the Picnik’d glitter and graffiti-esque writing proclaiming “love youuuuu <3 <3 <3?” Believe me, I have. Though seemingly the furthest thing from the romantic sun of a day, the tweens have deviated so far from their original selves that they become people they don’t even know. The made-up words and abbreviations are just signs of the depth of deviation.

– I need to vent really quickly. First of all, “youuuuuu” is not a word. “You,” referring to an informal person, is. When the “<3” sign first came out, it took me quite literally three months to decipher. A heart turned to the right? Yeah, that makes sense. Thank you, junior high MySpace users.

The advent of Internet has led us to become superficial animals. We type out what others expect us to type; we emoticon because it makes others see us as bubbly and alert. The Internet has caused us fade into orange-ish wisps and eventually nothing of our original selves.

Some may beg to differ – I don’t post tweenage girl Facebook statuses or tweets, they say; my profile pictures are perfectly legitimate; I am myself online.

Okay, fine. But when you Google your name, is the person you end up with an exact representation of yourself, or is it just a person who is simply a newspaper clipping of fact after fact after fact, which become so many facts that your actual identity dwindles and becomes lost among the clutter?

It’s sad – your true self gets lost among the clutter of your impeding facts.

You get lost within yourself.

Don’t think I’m completely bashing on the ‘Net when I say this – it is truly the greatest invention of our time. It just seems that the Internet is forcing us to become just the tiniest representation of ourselves with networking tools. All I’m saying is that there’s more to us, and more beautiful pieces of us contrary to just the wisps of a sunset. We are all the hearts of sunsets deep down, the penetrating soul of the inside.

Because I’m forgetting about one of the most powerful and newer forms of online media. Blogs have helped us find our real inner sun. They let you rant and rave and cry and feel anything you want, and link it with multimedia and pieces galore. Finally, a form of art that can reach people just as easily as a Facebook link, but much less superficially! Finally, a way to express yourself that no one can take from you. Blogs help you find you.

As the Internet attempts to define us more and more with social networking sites, email, instant messaging and search keywords, we begin to fade. We are not keywords. We cannot be constrained by search engines. We are humans – not machines.

The sunset is beautiful – one of the world’s greatest phenomena. But in the end, nothing lasts forever; as we sit on our Twitter and Facebook pages trying to define the world within the constraints of a conformed culture, the reality of life is slipping away.


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