The Who's Roger Daltrey says the internet is destroying our brains, society, and civilization
Maybe he's just from the wrong generationBy Rob Thubron 58 comments
A hot potato: While the internet is high on the list of inventions that completely reshaped the world, not everyone is a fan of the digital experience. One of these is Roger Daltrey, lead singer of legendary rock band The Who. He not only hopes that it "f**king collapses" but also believes it is destroying our brains has the potential to end civilization.
The singer made his internet-hating comments to the Coda Collection, which, somewhat ironically, is a video streaming service available on Amazon featuring music concerts, documentaries, and more from artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and the Rolling Stones, the latter of which Daltrey referred to as a "Mediocre Pub Band" during another section of the interview.
Daltrey covered a number of areas during his one-on-one, including how he felt The Who would fare if it were a new band launching in today's digital age. The visibly unimpressed singer starts his reply by announcing himself as "the number one hater of the internet."
"I loathe it. At the time it really started to come forward as this platform it's become, I never ever thought any good would come of it and I really still don't think any good's come of it. I think if we're not careful, it's probably the end of our civilisation," he explained.
"Yes, it's very convenient. It's destroying our planet in more ways than one. It's destroying our brains in more ways than one. It's destroying our society in more ways than one, so all in all, the sooner it f**king collapses, the better."
Like most things, the internet has its problems. Back in 2019, the man who invented the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, called for a "Contract for the web" that he hoped would prevent a "digital dystopia." It included more respect for users' privacy and developing technologies to support humanity.
But Daltrey does have a point about the environmental impact of the internet, especially when it comes to resource-consuming areas such as crypto, NFTs, and data centers. He also brings up the long-contentious issue of how much songwriters and artists are paid by streaming services for using their work. It's estimated that Spotify pays artists as little as $0.0033 per stream, meaning they would need around 250 streams to earn a single dollar.
"Songwriters can't earn a living writing songs. Composers can't earn a living composing music. That can't go on. That's got to stop. It's the biggest fraud or robbery, whatever you want to call it, in history - what's happened to the music business," Daltrey said.