The blanket accusation that the Internet is to blame is never really true. The internet has not invented the bad things which are usually achieved by it. It has just made it easier and faster.
Arms trafficking, bomb-making instructions, snuff videos or child pornography. You don’t have to go to the so-called Darknet, where only criminals hang around, as some people assume, but indeed not average users, to find such abominations. However, one should also know, that murder and torment, for the amusement or satisfaction of one’s sick minds, man has always had at his disposal. The net does what it’s called to do, and it networks these people. Just as it networks people, who want to help other people, or even try to get out of their solitude trap by themselves. In the end, it’s the man who counts, and it counts what he does.
He earns money on the Internet, for example. Through writing and marketing, as I do, for example. In the meantime, however, the downsides of exploitation have long since been felt here as well. Platforms, for example, mediate micro-jobs for micro-amounts, around which the new digital precariat (New German: Freelancer) beat each other and undercut each other. Mostly for the benefit of the client, always for the benefit of the platform. In the Western world, politicians and trade unions are still primarily unimpressed by the changes taking place before their eyes. Trade unions are striking for the media in sectors where hardly any people will be working in a decade or two, while a kind of neo-Manchester capitalism is spreading on the net. A new class of the exploited is created, only through Wi-Fi.
This does not only apply to digital services. A classic example of this may be that at least in the USA many people are driven into a new dependency – and into sleeping in their cars. It is probably the resistance of the regulated taxi industry alone that has prevented similar images in most European countries. One could also say that even if some politicians simply let the changes happen, at least the liberals realize that the modern platform economy could have sprung from the wet dream of a hardcore capitalist.
Hardcore. Good cue. Of course, the platform economy for a long time has also been targeting the oldest industry of the World. A pioneer here is the German entrepreneur Pia Poppenreiter and her platform “Ohlala.” It is aimed exclusively at women; men are not included and they cannot make some extra money here through prostitution. Here, it smells about lots of money, because in the German cities the rents explode. In some cities, such as Munich, an apartment can just no longer get financed without additional jobs. It’s the right place for young women to earn some money on the side. Day 20th of the month. Money gone? A blowjob for the start-up founder and the problem is solved? Prostitutes and customers are found via the app after just a few clicks. Legs spread, rent secured.
The founder doesn’t want it to be so banal after all, since it sounds too much like Germany, thanks to the last change in the law, is now bringing thousands of young Eastern European women into the country staffing its brothels. A change in the law by green feminists who, against the advice of the experts, did nothing better in the end, only made everything worse. In the meantime, Germany is even regarded as Europe’s brothel – and makes business models like that of Mrs. Poppenreiter possible. She wants to offer some girlfriend to experience prostitution. So not just sex, but a little data. The very busy, and not always clichéd, socially reserved start-up founder doesn’t just give a blowjob but also watches a few episodes of Game of Thrones with her girlfriend for a while: real sex and simulated life, the beautiful new world.
Moreover, there is no innovation behind it either. Men have always exploited the situation of women to satisfy their own sexual needs. Also, women don’t practice any gender solidarity to earn money from it as it has always been the case in the oldest trade in the world. What’s new is that you can pay afterward with PayPal in an uncomplicated way.
Whether the end of the line is reached or not is determined by the law, or often by the will of the state to enforce the law. Somewhere in the depths of the Internet, there is now indeed a kind of tinder for surrogate mothers, where the childless couple comfortably eats their supplied wok menu in the evening, while they decide which woman should deliver their child later. So wouldn’t you instead rather take a look at the man who has one of his kidneys cut out for you? Sure, it should look healthy after all.
Future dreams? I’m not sure about that, but I think it already exists. The Internet offers the possibilities to whether one uses it, as a mere question of money. Also, maybe morality, for those who still believe in such things.
Thomas Matterne writes stories since he can write. His first professional path, however, was a job as an online journalist at a local TV station. While he works now more in the field of PR and marketing, he is also still a passionate blogger.