It’s Like Walking Through the Dark Woods at Night

30 Mar

What a double-edged sword we have with the internet.

I definitely have a hard time coming up with a consensus of what to think of it as time goes on.  Let me get right to the point:  Is it me, or are jobs, products and other tangible things being lost left and right due to the thing?

I don’t have any analysis of how MANY jobs the internet has created.  I’m guessing it’s quite a few.  But, has it made up for the magnitude of jobs I see being lost?  I again don’t know, but I doubt it.  But, again, I don’t know (wait, I just said that).  I don’t have those precise flow charts and mathematical figures in front of me.  Quite frankly, I didn’t try to get them, either.  However, everyday there’s a new business shutting down due to the internet.  That’s what I’m observing.  What’s going to happen about it?  Nothing.  It is (the internet) our darling princess in this society.  For me as well for a lot of things.  Your reading this because you’re online.  (Unless, somehow, you’re in my head.  Creepy.)

I don’t think I’m writing anything original here.  I’m sure it’s passed by your thinking as well.  We’ve all seen it.  It’s nothing new.  It’s just maddening to me of all that I see happening with it though so quickly.  I mean, will there be hardly ANY physical jobs out there in the near future which doesn’t require actually being there (such as, oh, let’s say – an oil change in your car or a mustache shave by the barber)?

I talked to my step dad the other day and he would constantly shop at the CD/DVD store at the Dayton Mall in Ohio.  It shut down (the CD store).  And I wasn’t shocked at all.  And that got me to thinking again about all the other CD/DVD stores out there.  I mean, the people that work in them, aren’t they just counting down the days until they shut down?  So, some jobs were lost there.  But you know, I’m to blame as well.  I listen to practically everything on YouTube.  So, don’t take this as me complaining, but isn’t it a little scary?  (On a side note, Best Buy announced yesterday they are closing 50 big-box stores due to a new “restructuring” plan – which means online sales.)

And the post office.  We all know the dismal state.  But, again, of course I’m going to pay my bills online and save money and time by not buying stamps.

Oh, and look at my career!  What is the future of newspaper syndication in comic strips?  Is there going to be a need for them when any schmuck can just grab a free web comic and post it instead of paying someone who devotes 40 hours a week to them.  I’m not too sure.  I always dreamed of just being syndicated and not doing the other projects needed to make a buck.  But, as of now, it’s not possible for me or anyone new.  Cartoonist that are living strictly off syndication right now hopped on the boat a decade or more ago and are still afloat, but there are no new tickets for introductory features like my brain-child, Break of Day.  Just online.  (I will mention that I am pursuing other opportunities for the feature though in other mediums.  Wink-wink.)  I always mention to people that even if the highly successful comic Calvin and Hobbes debuted today, it would probably just make the online market and nowhere else.  And no – I’m not comparing myself to Calvin and Hobbes in terms of quality or anything, but I just believe it’s anyone.

And other areas.

Even socializing is getting scary.  People seem to be losing touch on how to communicate verbally.  How often do I get phone calls?  Well, let me put it this way, I almost fell out of my seat when a client of mine actually called me on the phone the other day to discuss a project I’ve been working on.  I was startled – but that phone call meant a lot.  And to be personal on the phone was so much more uplifting than just your email.  I would be verbally telling you all of this right now if it was possible for me to stick my head out of this computer screen.

Everything to colleges, books, movies, friends and any business you can come up with is online.

And like I mention, I know I’m not informing you with any information that you’re not already aware of.  Of course you see this trend.  But, do you see the scary part of it like me?

I don’t know.  I can just envision a world almost where nobody leaves their homes and are all sheltered up doing EVERYTHING online.  No mom and pop shops, no print, no hardly anything.  The only time people will leave their homes is for travel and a sun tan (if they would like one).  Even grocery shopping will probably be a thing of home delivery from your computer.  There’s already services like that in place around here.

I’m a little old fashioned.  I can appreciate technology though.  And I just don’t see as much money in putting everything out of business by allowing it online.  But, here is that double-edged sword part – it’s kind of great.  I like shopping online (hell, I hate malls with a passion).  I like getting on YouTube, typing in an album and having – not only the album – but the live version or old bootleg copy yet heard on my ears.  But, on the opposite side of the coins, I remember eagerly anticipating one of my favorite bands releases, going to the record store and buying it.  I’d love the album cover art, I’d flip through the lyrics that were printed on the inside.  Even the smell of a new CD – kind of nice.  Yet, like everything, I read in the latest Rolling Stones magazine that CD’s are about to be extinct.  And that’s not a surprise.  And that will be more job loses.

So, I’m really torn.  I’m really upset at the internet for taking away my potential to be a thriving syndicated cartoonist and appearing in numerous papers.  Yet, without the internet, I’m not sure I would have ever had as much exposure as I have, and I’m not sure if I would’ve ever been syndicated.  Most of my work started online.  So, what’s a guy to think?

Double-edged sword (I’ve mentioned that a lot through this post).

I just hope there will be a nice, level balance between real things (like physical stores you can go to) and your whole online experience.  Yes, I shop mostly online (as I mention, I hate malls) but there are times I enjoy going into a store just for some atmosphere.  But one has gotta feel for people (actually, like me) that base their existence on something and then have it not being really existent anymore.  I always bring up the steam train engineer as an example.  What if I wanted to be a steam train engineer (as a living) and then diesel comes along and wipes away the steam trains?  That eliminates that possibilities (which happened already many decades ago).

So, what I’m getting at is I realize things change.  And maybe it’s not as scary as I think.  But, if my observations are right, it just seems like a lot – like, TOO much – is disappearing.  I dunno.  I could be totally wrong on job loses from the internet as well.  But, if my observations serve me correctly, it seems like shops are closing up left and right which, obviously, means job loss.

At any rate, maybe in the future, you and me can grab a burger online.  Cool?


3 Responses to “It’s Like Walking Through the Dark Woods at Night”

  1. w101njf March 30, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    BTW – I would love to hear YOUR thoughts on all this. What do you think?

  2. bearmancartoons March 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    You are buying

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