This week, we talk about the ‘Metaphors that conceptualize the Internet’. The formal English definition of a Metaphor is as follows:
Definition of METAPHOR (courtesy of merriam-webster.com)
a figure of speech in which a word or phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them
Our version: Borrowing attributes of one thing to describe or explain another thing.
There are plenty of valid metaphors for the internet, on the internet. Even finding them all would be nigh on impossible so we will be focusing on our favourite: the Internet as a Nation.
Internet as a Nation
The internet is a nation. In fact, it might be the true superpower. There are many ways in which the internet behaves like a nation.
The internet has citizens (Netizens). Most if not all of us are Netizens, the people of the internet. We have grown to care about what happens to it and and involved in many related things.
The citizens can own property (websites). Probably only a small portion of Netizens actually own websites. But then again, the same goes for most countries.
No passport or customs to cross borders (web domains). Consider the real world on planet Earth. Your own country is pretty much the only place where you can enter and exit areas without the need for identification or registration. Thankfully we are not restricted by borders in the Internet.
It has its own languages (cyber-slang). We are probably using some of it ourselves. Fyi, btw, leet, lol, etc etc
It has politics (Market share as votes). We are actually ‘voting’ each time we use a certain search engine. The search engine with the most users wields the most influence since all websites need their help. In a way, Google/Yahoo/MSN are acting as governments. The next thing you know…
Tax. Someone has to pay for the Internet infrastructure and maintenance. Wait, it turns out that almost everyone has to pay! We are being ‘taxed’ by ISP subscriptions and as in the real world, we can’t really see what the money is used for. Truly one of the two certainties in life.
It has media channels (Streaming Sites). Every nation has media channels that usually can only be accessed by its own citizens, Internet is no different. Even before YouTube, there were a plethora of websites for Netizens to express themselves to other Netizens, spread Internet news and deliver propaganda.
It has criminals (hackers/viruses) and security forces (Anti-malware software). Every nation has security forces to protect its sovereignty. If hackers and viruses ran rampant, Internet may well be destroyed, so the good guys (anti-virus) step in and hold them at bay. Thankfully, there is no conscription for Netizens so far.
The Internet is many things…
We have given our $0.02 about one wacky way to define the Internet. Everything above is solely our opinions mixed with earnest attempts at humor. We hope you have enjoyed the read. Until next week!