One of the unanticipated side effects of digging through the internet to create a weekly newsletter is that you develop a spidey sense for what's happening online, a strange background awareness created by millions of tiny psychic vibrations thrumming through the web. This is not necessarily a good thing. The internet, like any good collective consciousness, has some pretty serious moods and when those turn dark, it can be intense.
Right now though, the mood doesn't feel dark - it feels listless and empty. We first started noticing this a few weeks ago. Our favourite journalists don't seem as sharp, the podcasters sound tired of their own voices, the newsletter writers seem to be lacking their usual spark. Initially we were confused. Was it us? Did we lose our edge? Then we realized: it's not us, it's America.
You see, America dominates the English-speaking internet. 90% of everything we consume online comes from there. In part, that's because they invented it, but it's also because of their global dominance of the cultural spaces which the rest of us inhabit. What's top of mind for a small group of people from Hollywood, Washington and Silicon Valley is often top of mind for the rest of us. It's the water we all swim in, whether we like it or not.
After 18 months of mayhem, and with 71.8% of their adult population having now received at least one dose of a vaccine, it appears that a lot of America has decided to take a break from sharing their opinions online, and gone outside to soak up some sunshine. Even though it's lockdown winter here, we think it's a good opportunity for our team at Future Crunch to do the same, and put the internet down for a bit to recharge our own batteries.
We're pausing all subscriptions while we're gone, so you won't be paying for anything during the downtime. Before we go though, we wanted to introduce you to a new charity partner and give you some updates on some of the old ones. You, our subscribers, made this happen! We cannot thank you enough.