Tag Archives: internet

Staying With The Times

My latest Dustinland comic is about social media. And hey, that’s how I promoted it. But it’s really more of a commentary about people and trends. That’s what’s ultimate underlying the strip. How we’re always chasing what’s hot and never catching up, even when the hottest thing is something we already did many years ago.

Technology or not, some things never change.

The 6 Stage of Dead Phone Battery Grief

As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, when your phone dies and you’re not in the position to recharge it, at first you panic. But eventually you accept it, and at that point you are finally alive again. No email or texts to harass you. No Instagram or other time wasting social platforms or apps to distract you. Just life. Slow and beautiful. The moment. Be in it. Enjoy it. One day we will surely all be interconnected cyborgs, or living in a post apocalyptic wasteland. Either way, enjoy your rare moments of life without a phone. You may become more fleeting than you could imagine.

Generation Wi-Fi: Kids and Tech

What I cover in this week’s Dustinland comic is a really complicated issue. Kids and technology. The debate has been going on for decades now, and it only gets more and more intense as technology becomes an increasingly pervasive part of our lives. It’s really tricky as a parent, but ultimately I would imagine there’s only so long you can fight it. My child is still pretty small, but I know people with older kids, and I see how it is. Hey, social media is even part of school these days. And people are making six figures playing video games professionally.

Where this all leads me is that in a broader sense, we’re really becoming cyborgs—and is that such a bad thing? But that’s a topic for a whole different comic…

Online Exposure

So, clearly in this week’s comic I am making fun of Buzzfeed, but I must admit, I don’t ever go to that site and they’ve never stolen my content. Some other big sites have though, and I think it’s all the same schtick. It’s not “stealing” if they give you attribution. That’s the theory. And, you know, of course exposure to a wider audience is great. The problem is that a very tiny percentage of these people will ever click through the links that make up these lists. Come on, you’re busy looking at “The 29 most interesting squirrels of the first half of 2013,” there’s no way you’re going to have the patience to learn more about one specific post on the list.

I will say though, it’s kind of a different topic, but it’s frustrating to see people call the Buzzfeed guy a genius. I mean, sure, he is a genius at making money but I think the Internet is full of sites that just aggregate pop culture references and memes and little tidbits that pander to the lowest common denominator… sites that gather rather than create. These sites know how to make money and make things go viral but it’s not art. It’s nothing new. No one gains anything from it. It’s just quick blurts of stuff, the equivalent of old school email FW: FW: FW: FW: chain letter often times. Meh, enough ranting. I think you know what I mean.

PS Most of these sites are super ugly as well. Just sayin.

Like This Comic

Like I said in this week’s comic, of course the Internet is a great thing—really one of the best things ever, an I mean that quite literally. But still, there is a sort of anxiety it has unleashed upon us. The more we share, the more we are constantly checking back to see if people agree or respond. And when they don’t we wonder why. Then we try harder.

A lot of people might not agree with this. They might say, “Hey, I share online with my friends because it’s fun. I don’t sit there worrying who will retweet me.” And they might actually believe that. But deep inside, they do care. Otherwise they wouldn’t post. That’s the thing—why share something if you aren’t concerned with the opinion of others? And caring requires effort. Sharing requires putting yourself out there to be judged. This is all stressful. Little tiny moments of stress throughout the day. That’s what many of us are doing to ourselves with all this sharing.

Just think about show and tell. What if you came to school, brought your favorite toy, stood in front of the class, showed and telled, and then no one cared. No one paid attention, no one asked a question, no one talked about it after. You’d be one sad kid. That’s what I’m talking about here.

TLDR

This week’s comic was sparked by the realization that nobody answers their phones anymore, yet everyone seems to text back within a minute. So people are there, they have their phones, they just can’t or won’t answer. Texting though… it’s so easy, so quick. Quick! That’s what it’s about these days. Hurry up! Stop wasting my time! There are so many other things I could be doing right now! If civilization doesn’t collapse and we actually keep progressing, I wonder what things will be like 100 years from now. Will everyone just be plugged into everything at all times? Will it just be one big hive mind, since we’re so interconnected? Maybe that would be better. It seems to work out pretty well for bugs. Sure, it’s boring, but it’s successful.

TLDR – This week’s Dustinland is about short attention spans.

Keep it Real

If you didn’t scroll all the way down, past the comic, you didn’t get the joke in this week’s Dustinland. And if this is the case, I’ll give you a second to go back and check it out without spoiling it.

Okay, so now that you’ve seen the entire comic, I can tell you that all of that stuff is real, except for the very last row at the bottom, which clearly I made up. Pretty amazing, huh?

Anyway, I sure do hope I get a lot of Wykops for this post, or maybe even a few Yardbarks.

The Funniest Thing I Have Ever Seen On The Internet

This week’s update (not Dustinland) all started from a link I saw on Reddit. It was a link to the funniest video ever posted online — an infomercial for a music festival that just went down this weekend in Illinois. When I first clicked on it, I said to myself: There’s no way I’m going to watch 14 minutes of this. I’m going to tune out after the first 30 seconds. Well, not only did I watch the entire thing, but I have watched it many times, and sent it to many of my friends. Why? Because it’s amazing, as you can see if you spent the time to watch it and read along with my guide.

I figure most people won’t bother to go through the whole thing, but I just had to get it out of my system. And yes, I know Paste Magazine did something similar but I did not read their version and any similarities are due to like-minded thinking.

I really don’t know what else to say about this, aside from the fact that I could probably have created a 100-page comic on it, and that I wonder if I’ll get hatemail from their “insane” fans.

On another note, Birdy is terribly drawn this week, but only because it was so incredibly hot in my apartment that the paper was literally sticking to my hand as I drew, makgin it difficult and unpleasant to draw.

The Browsy

Don’t think the irony of this comic escapes me. Here I am, blogging about a webcomic I promoted via email, Facebook and Twitter, and yet the comic is critical of the internet. What a hypocrite, right? Well, let me tell you why I drew this comic.

The other night I was on Goodreads.com, a site where you can rate all the books you’ve read and see what your friends have read and are reading, and I realized something: Someone could hop online, browse around, and (without ever reading a single one of my comics) find out everything about me. All the books I’ve read, all the movies I’ve seen, the TV shows I’ve watched, the music I listen to, all the people I know. And I put this stuff out there, and seem to enjoy doing it. But why? Why is there pleasure derived from organizing and categorizing everything? Sometimes I’ll sit down at my computer and organize my iTunes playlists for two hours. It seems like fun at the time, but when I’m done, my back hurts, and I’m not really in a great mood. Or a bad mood. I’m just kinda… there. And yet I’m drawn to this sort of thing. Yay, I just rated every book I’ve ever read! Whoopee! Why is it fun? Why do I do it?

And that’s what this strip is about. It was a reminder to myself that an hour living life is a million times better than an hour spent recording it.