Book reviews / Non fiction

Book review: Because Internet

Oh man, I haven’t read a book in about THREE WEEKS. Which means I’m falling steadily behind my Goodreads goal, which is my main goal in life.

Anyway, I was reading The Age of Surveillance Capitalism which was interesting and yet hyperbolic enough for me to roll my eyes every few pages. So I needed a break, something light and fun, and not trying to be the 21st century Marx.

Because Internet looks at internet language and culture, from a linguistic perspective. Which seems a bit stuffy, but is in fact, really very interesting. I liked how lots of the way we think about language and the internet fit in neatly with linguistic theory. For example, emojis being a linguistic thing called emblems.

What I also found interesting was the pre-internet-internet things. Basically the archeology of internet culture, which I am too young or at least too technologically inept to have participated in. But also the different phases of internet people, like Full, Semi or Post Internet People (for the record, I think I’m a Full Internet Person). I guess a lot of it just felt nostalgic? Like the years of flitting to different fashionable chat services like MSN messenger and ICQ. It was just familiar and lovely, even though at the time I experienced it via a 16K dial up modem for the most part.

I found the later chapters less compelling, maybe for that lack of nostalgia, but maybe because I understand memes and look at them every day. But regardless, it was all super interesting. Also, I could just be tired, it’s been a long day/week/covid-lockdown.

Finally, I just liked that she ended with the fact that language changes, the internet didn’t start that and it won’t be the last thing to have an impact on language. She did a great job of basically combatting a lot of the Daily Mail Esque “everything is wrong with the youths and here is why” type behaviours, and finding their equivalents before the internet. It was just really pleasant to see.

Have a read internet people, it’s a super interesting and yet comforting read

One thought on “Book review: Because Internet

  1. Pingback: August 2020: Virtual hallway experiments and bouba/kiki video – Gretchen McCulloch

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