Home Is Where You Know The WiFi Password

You’ve probably seen dozen of variations of this. It’s quite a popular meme and for good reasons. As any good joke, it mixes the unexpected with the funny in a short, easy to remember form.

And yet, there is something more to it than a good meme. It’s a profound truth that is slowly carving its place into our new reality.

As the internet became prevalent in our life, many tasks have been transferred to it. There is social interaction (too much of it, if you ask me). There is economical activity. There is education. There is entertainment. All these are happening now almost entirely on the internet.

And all these unfolded very differently before internet. Some of them were broadcasted, indeed, but there wasn’t this level of immersion and interactivity that we have now with the internet. With very small steps, physical reality gave way to the virtual reality, and nobody noticed. Or maybe they noticed, but they couldn’t do much about it.

Because the internet offers a convenience that’s hard to bargain with. There’s a level of availability of resources there never experienced at such a scale, in the entire human history. The translation of reality into this new dimension is un-negotiable, in the spirit of another popular meme, this time hinting at Mafia and the Godfather: “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse”. Yes, the internet made us an offer we can’t refuse. Not without losing very important parts of our reality, or paying too much in terms of time, money, energy or opportunity cost.

Where do I want to go with this?

Well, home. Or how “home” changed because of the internet. We slowly moved parts of our intimate, comfortable reality to the internet, until we reached a point we don’t need a physical space anymore to call it home. In some parts of the world, in some cultures, for some people, this is still a thing, I admit. But the trend is clear. If you want to feel “at home”, you just open your laptop and get on Twitter, or you fire up your phone and scroll Instagram, or simply read, or stream some music, or a movie.

The impact of this is starting to be felt, but it will go way further than we can imagine now. It will affect our very concept of culture and communication. It will affect our notions of country, identity and value.

If you don’t believe me, please be aware that you don’t believe something that it’s already on the internet, written by someone you probably never met – and you probably never will, on a device you will now use for something you know will be more soothing than this controversial article.

Just be aware of that for a moment.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

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