The Internet Is Getting Too Full
of liars, cheaters, and assholes
Lately, I’ve been harping on the faults of the Internet, the challenges of breaking through all the noise and being heard as a writer. You’re probably tired of hearing about it. I have one more complaint. I might not be as frustrated with this place if it weren’t full of liars, cheaters, and assholes.
I suppose there are bad people everywhere in this world. But the Internet gives jerks a wall to hide behind, offers them anonomity while taking advantage of others. I have two recent examples.
Liars and Cheaters?
First, I’ve recently updated my website’s hosting service. I won’t mention any names because I’m still in the process of trying to sort some things out with them. My new hosting company is very good. I love everything about them, except one thing that I find unethical.
My hosting company bases its pricing and packages on how much traffic comes to one’s website. The problem is that they have their own measurement system that measures 10x higher than Google Analytics, the industry standard. So whereas my website gets about 500 unique visits a month, they claim it’s getting 5000 visits a month. I know that’s not made up of real quality visitors. It’s bots and garbage. Now they want me to pay a higher monthly price based on those faulty numbers. I call bullshit.
Second, I recently moved to Maine. I wanted to get one of my vehicles shipped across the country. I found some potential shipping companies, chose one, Profexo Shipping, and signed a contract with them. I paid $150 down about a month in advance of the shipping date. I was assured that everything would run smoothly.
A few days before the potential pick-up date, I contacted them to make sure everything was still in order as they promised. The story had changed. Now they claimed that trucks were sparse and prices had risen and I’d likely have to pay nearly double what I was originally quoted. So I pushed for more info. I asked for the exact new price, the trucking company that I’d be working with, and their contact. Nothing. They could not provide me with any more information.
In the end, although they claimed the problem was due to lack of trucks, I don’t believe they ever really set anything up in the first place. They probably never really tried to serve me. They likely just scammed me and stole $150. Assholes.
Are These the Exceptions?
I wish I could say that these two examples are exceptions to the rule. I can’t. Sure, there are a lot of legit businesses on the Internet. However, I’ve worked in and around the blogging and entrepreneurial camps long enough to see how far people will go to make a buck.
I’m a college educator. I understand how to teach a course and what goes into real education. Many online courses offered by bloggers and entrepreneurs are not really education. They are simply automated systems that give you information that you could easily seek out somewhere else. You’ve been suckered. Just like I was suckered by asshole truck-hauler-liar guy.
Many so-called online entrepreneurs want to offer you “more for less.” They’ll claim you can make thousands of dollars a month if you just sign onto their program. They’ll sell you formulaic books that don’t really teach you much of anything. They prey on you so they can make a buck. And it works.
Where’s That Leave the True Creators?
I know my picture is bleak. Sorry, it’s what I see. It’s what I’ve learned. So where does that leave people like us? The true creators? Artists, writers, and musicians who truly just want to create, share their work, and just maybe make a living from what they do.
It leaves us feeling overwhelmed. It leaves us in despair. If the Internet is so full of liars, cheaters, and assholes, and audiences actually fall for their schticks, those of us who are true creators get lost in the web. The honest creators can scream our lungs out, bang our heads against the webosphere, even give away half our work, and we still struggle to find an audience. We’re not sleek enough. We don’t have enough charisma. We don’t lie. We don’t simply tell you what you want to hear and then steal your money. I guess honesty has its price.
It’s a sad state of affairs. I’m not sure it will ever get better. The Internet is too full. Is it even worth trying to hang up a sign and opening your shop? Perhaps, if you already have loads of money and marketing expertise. Maybe, if you’re a manipulative liar. But for the average writer, guitarist, or painter? I’m not so sure. I’ll let the reader decide.
I’m not quitting yet. I love to write and create music. So, I’ll keep sharing what I do for now. But there may come a day when I stop. - dse