Why New York is Actually a Real-Life Version of the Internet

I’ve decided that if the internet existed in a physical form, it would probably be New York. Some parallels:

  1. There’s constant stimulation available, and you have instant access to any part you want whenever you want it (or as relatively close to instant as you’re gonna get with a city’s transit system).

    NYC’s version of Google

  2. Of course, this expectation of easy access only makes it more infuriating when you’ve got a connection problem stopping you from getting on (the subway) line.

    Error: this content is not currently available.

  3. They’re both places where you can come to be anonymous in a sea of strangers.
  4. And at the same time, they’re full of people trying to make a name for themselves.

    (Or at least Netflix)

  5. I think offensive subway ranters count as the equivalent of YouTube commenters, except you get to see what their faces look like.
  6. We celebrate how these two scenes draw in all types of people from all over the world (those that can afford it, anyway). And that’s true, but it doesn’t mean that all these different sorts of people are hanging out in the same places.
  7. They’ve each got a few sites that get most of the traffic. But sometimes the quieter spots are especially worth checking out.
  8. They’ve got some parts labeled as “safe” and others blocked off as “unsafe.” There are definitely real reasons for this, but the way in which the distinction is made can get questionable.
  9. They provide so much for you to discover and learn from–art, literature, culture, budding political movements and social scenes–but instead of taking advantage of that, you’re probably gonna spend most of your time on Facebook/Upper Manhattan.
  10. Some people need to disconnect from all this buzz every now and then to keep their sanity. Others are too hooked to ever go back to the quiet.
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Things I Learned in 2013

  1. College admissions are not controlled by some magical, divine force. No matter what they tell you about ending up where you’re “meant to be,” it’s really just people and numbers on the other side of the process.
  2. That said, most people don’t need a flawlessly-matched college to have a positive experience.
  3. Moving, distance, semi-independent living, urban navigation, and time management are not nearly as hard as people make them out to be.
  4. It’s one thing to hear older artists talk about how they don’t care about success or external validation and like the idea, but it’s another to genuinely feel this way about myself. I need some distance from the constant panic and uncertainty of young adulthood before I can get to that place, and that’s okay.
  5. There is more than one way to be social.
  6. You know how people slightly older than you seem to have it all figured out. They don’t.
  7. Everyone’s life looks way more exciting/perfect on Facebook.
  8. It’s totally okay to feel lots of different things simultaneously. Acknowledging this make every one-word answer to “How are you?” feel painfully dishonest.
  9. Everyone is shamefully ignorant about something. Google helps.
  10. Not all snow is adequate for snowman building.
  11. I don’t actually know what my parents are thinking.
  12. People have no idea what I’m thinking either. Explaining is important.
  13. Java and JavaScript are actually not the same thing.

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Have a great new year, people. Or an average one. No pressure.