Earlier when I noted how Edmund Wilson, in 1937, was making all the same complaints about the movies that David Denby makes today, I realized something. Hollywood in 1937 must have seemed much like the Internet today: a medium still in its relative infancy, but one having ripened to the point where people were already claiming to smell rot in the air.
I've never bothered to hide my distaste for the likes of Facebook and Twitter — both of which I do use, but only inasmuch as I use them to call attention to this site, or to deal with things that can't happen anywhere else. I'm trying not to build any dependencies on either one, because a) they're not mine and b) they're not "social media" but ad platforms, and anyone who thinks otherwise has one rude shock in store when they find out the next way those guys, and all the rest of their kind, have in store for monetizing their so-called users. The advertisers aren't the product; the users are.
None of this is news, but it bears repeating every so often. It also lends perspective: we have been in this elevator before. A great new medium appears, trailing all sorts of promise, laden with flash and filigree, and before long it becomes just another way to sell soap and beer. But it thrives despite this, in big part because everything that is wretched about it has to be constantly maintained and rebuilt, and everything that is great about it thrives anyway.