It was a demise that many have seen coming for a long time.
It is a tragedy whose full impact will not be noticed for a while to come.
All things of great worth that are brought into this world go through a cycle- a difficult and long birth, a formative period where it is ignored, misunderstood and its virtues recognized by few, then an ascendance and acceptance by the more intelligent and fore-sighted in society, then an adaption to the masses that makes it widely accepted; hesitantly at first, becoming more so as it becomes less of a mystery, then wildly enthusiastically with throngs raving of its wonders and putting down hard cash and imbuing long hours in use of it.
Then, as negative elements begin to subvert it to their own uses and profit, a long, sad decline into decadence and mediocrity.
The Internet, that electronic wonder of our age, has now entered that last cycle.
What began as mysterious encryption understood and used by few, evolved as words strewn about a glowing blue page, quickly grew into a mass market when Bill Gates added color and pictures to it with Windows. It began to draw in those who minds deal in images rather than letters.
The Internet became a phenomena, a superstar, a mega-business, an international sensation. Throngs ran to the new specially PC stores to buy the clunky boxes and pseudo TV screens that soon graced many living rooms and offices throughout the world.
All to tap into that wondrous media octopus, the Internet.
It was a marvelous vehicle of communication and acquiring information.
An instrument of Enlightenment.
A tool of overcoming ignorance.
Then the ignorance caught up to it.
And the greed.
And the manipulation and trickery.
First probably came the pornographers. They seem to be ever present when a new media possibility comes about.
Then the false advertisers. Liars and cheats who know no other way of making a living than lying and cheating.
Eventually the salesmen joined in with products to convince the unaware of something that they assured them they needed.
Bill Gates tackled numerous small computer competitors and buried them under the Microsoft plow.
Prostitutes touted their wares on Craigslist and scammers used that wonderful service to hit people they would never know or see, ruining a truly virtuous, non-avarice site that became famous for refusing to sell out to multi-million dollar offers that would have made them all rich.
Uncaring advertising agencies created more and more obnoxious ads that blocked your reading and demanded your attention or locked you into their website.
Retailers insisted on bringing the banality of their products to your attention, creating a circus like atmosphere to the Internet that rivaled, then surpassed that of television.
Eventually, inevitably, hackers found ways of undermining the very computer and websites that people so loved, bringing much unnecessary grief and difficulties to the users. What once was a fun and informative recreation has become a modern battlefield, between individuals, between corporations, between nations.
Finally, Verizon and other huge carriers sought to bring the Internet under their dominion....and succeeded. The filthy lucre of silver was passed and the Judases to the betrayal of Internet users everywhere walked away satisfied and rich.
Millions are moaning this great loss of innocence.
And many millions do not yet realize what this means.