at what cost

click enter on your search —
	an electric impulse through an algorithm spanning an incomprehensible index,
	maintained in server farms across the globe —

scroll through results —
	the first ones the most profitable for the engine’s parent company,
	the second ones bought by other companies —

on your phone —
	put together by child labor in Asia
	from materials mined by forced labor in Africa —

to view a content —
	for which the creator makes fractions of a cent,
	if they are compensated at all —

which will vanish into the ether —
	as soon as you close the tab
	or open a new one.

4 thoughts on “at what cost

  1. “which will vanish into the ether —
    as soon as you close the tab
    or open a new one.”

    This was really poignant for me. It reminded me of how I read articles online, in the paper, hear about atrocities that occur, and I’m truly appalled or saddened or both. But a minute later topics change and my life just continues as is. I suppose because of how distant (physically and emotionally) we are from the situation and how often we hear about it (take the civil wars in Central and Northern Africa, the endless fighting in the Middle East, the strife between China and Tibet), we somehow sympathize but are desensitized to it, making it easier to shrug off or as you put it “close the tab” and move on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally! I was thinking about the ways that our attention is so fragmented based on how algorithms make us accustomed to continuously consuming content. Like, the engines and browsers we use are built for us to do that – to shrug it off and move on to the next thing to bring them more ad revenue.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Haha! I’ve gone off and and turned it into a more philosophical self issue, haven’t I?
    But I see you. These days there’s so much information and from just the way we click and like things, the marketing strategies corps use to keep me engaged and at times addicted seem to seduce us into a Truman Show reality, where we don’t pay attention or are unaware of the cost because of the convenience. Like how Nestle, Mars, and Hershey’s chocolate were using child labor to get their cocoa beans but we don’t really focus on that since we’re more interested in the goods we receive.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly yeah! I think all that ties into what you were saying though! The Truman Show reality makes us more detached from tragedies that are too far away from us, thus pulling us back into whatever the corps will feed us next. They thrive on our dulled outrage.

      Liked by 1 person

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