Robert Pickering Burnham better known by his stage name Bo Burnham is an American comedian, musician, actor, film director, screenwriter, and poet. He began his career on YouTube in March 2006, with his videos gaining more than 300 million views as of March 2021. He is well known around some circles for his Netflix comedy specials, but in this article, we are talking about his latest sensation “Welcome to the Internet” track.
“Welcome to the Internet” is the fourth track on the second disc of his fourth live album ‘Inside (The Songs).’ The album contains songs from his comedy special ‘Bo Burnham: Inside’ released on June 10, 2021, on Netflix. This album was self-released after his four-year contract with Comedy Central expired.
“Welcome to the Internet” is all about, well, the Internet. The World Wide Web is a pretty impressive creation of humankind. But the humankind is flawed in the worst ways possible. So is the Internet. Bo Burnham touches on some of the good things about the Internet and drowns us in all the bad about it in this track. Stay around, and you might pick up a new bad habit or two, too.
Watch “Welcome to the Internet” by Bo Burnham
“Welcome to the Internet” Lyrics Review and Song Meaning
In the first verse of the song, Bo Burnham eases us into what the Internet is. In this day and age, no one needs an intro class to the Internet. Even newborns learn to browse YouTube and watch their favorite Cocomelon rhymes.
Bo Burnham warns us that the Internet is vast and deep. Anything your brain can imagine, you will find it on the Internet. Heck, you could find anything you could imagine only on Reddit itself. So, you’re bound to find something you love or hate on the Internet. If you don’t find anything, you can be the first to create it on the Internet!
Bo Burnham dips our toes into what’s about to come. Would you like to read today’s news? Noone really buys physical newspapers now. Newspaper stands are a thing of the past. It is good in a way–so many trees saved. Also, news travels fast and far with the Internet. 30 years ago, nobody knew what happened across the world. Now, everybody knows everything. Good, Internet!
But as easily accessible is some feet pics! Yes, a craze for feet is a real thing among people and the Internet facilitates this need perfectly. There are probably 1,000 pages dedicated to feet lovers only on Reddit itself.
Jo Burnham also reminds us how easy it is to access everything on the Internet. The user only has to express their interest in a certain topic and the algorithms will take care of the rest.
In the third verse, Bo Burnham mocks the Internet heroes! There are literal world wars happening on the Internet over all sorts of topics, every minute. There are endless debates you can pick from and be part of according to your desire. It will only take a single Tweet to create a war. However, the good thing about the Internet is that damage control is relatively easier. A user blocked, an account banned, and even the entire website goes down, and the war ceases.
If you want to be happy, you can be so on the Internet. If you want to satisfy your deepest sexual cravings, the Internet abides. If you want to fight for racism, feminism, global warming, deforestation, OPEC, the United Nations, Donald Trump, a mosquito on your arm, or Elon Musk, you can do so with ease!
‘Engagement’ is a powerful tool on the Internet. Everybody wants everybody to engage on the Internet. YouTubers want more likes and subscribers, Twitter users want more hearts and re-tweets, Instagram models want more hearts and comments, companies want more clicks and sales. Everything comes with a price label to grab and hold the Internet users’ attention. Social media, just in the last few years, has enabled more engagement than all the newspapers, catalogs, and magazines in the history of the world combined.
Bo Burnham dives further deep! Do you want to learn how to cook a meal? Do you want to learn how to freeze your egg and make an omelet out of it? Bet there is somebody who has already done that. From cooking, Bo turns our attention to the dead body of a 9-year-old. This shows the ‘variety’ of the Internet! ‘Death and gore’ is also another dark side of the Internet, unfortunately.
Bo takes us on another wild ride when he says that you can find all the different colored pencil drawings (aww) of all the Harry Potter (aww) characters having sex with each other (what now!). We can guarantee you that this exists on the Internet.
You can Google search for any famous movie title characters having sex with each other, and most likely than not, you will find it.
Welcome to the Internet!
Sex is a BIG topic on the Internet and online communities. There have been countless cases of online predators which even have had real-life unfortunate consequences. But does it stop? Probably, never! The Internet is vast and pretty out of control.
Also, on the flip side of the story is how people pretend to be victims for attention. On the Internet, any kind of news is ‘good’ news for someone looking to gain more ‘engagement.’ So, it has been quite common how people have turned stories around for ‘Internet fame’ later on.
More dark topics follow.
If you want to see people getting beheaded, you are in for a treat. If you want to see animal cruelty, you’ve hit the jackpot. Do you want to see sexual abuse? Welcome to the Internet. Bo did warn us that ‘anything’ your brain can think of, will be there on the Internet.
‘Boomer’ is slang for old people who are not as tech and Internet savvy as the Millenials or Zoomers! ‘Groom’ is to abuse someone, usually underage and often sexually.
Yet again Bo shows us the highest of highs of the Internet, how to make a healthy breakfast, and the lowest of lows, kill your mom! We can bet that there will be an instructional guide to both somewhere on the Internet.
The Internet is truly vast and maddening at this point.
In the chorus of “Welcome to the Internet,” Bo Burnham sings that you don’t even have to pick a topic. Why don’t you open seven tabs all at once and indulge in seven different topics at once!
The new generations cannot be without being entertained. Be it watching a cooking video on YouTube to watching hardcore adult entertainment on another website, everybody needs ‘content’ showed in their faces. Boredom has become a thing of the past now. There are more videos on YouTube than you can watch in your entire lifetime even if you watched without a break. There is more educational content than your brain can possibly absorb, too. The poison you pick for yourself is all up to you.
Just as Bo said in the second verse; “Just nod or shake your head, and we’ll do the rest.”
These lyrics take us to a time before the Internet was this massive engulfing being. Back then, a chatroom was the biggest and craziest social network on the Internet. Things were more physical back then. They had books, magazines, catalogs, and friends. They did not have Patreon patrons or subscribers on OnlyFans.
Bo Burnham points the finger at the parents. Today’s parents are so busy with their own routine that they don’t have spare time to spend with their children. Instead, they give the kid their iPad and let them shuffle through the vast swathes of the Internet. From a tender age, the child’s brain learns to thirst for more and more content to keep themselves entertained.
Now, look at you! Oh, look at you!
You, you! Unstoppable, watchable
The Internet sure is addicting. And it can be a good thing if you addict yourself to the good side of the Internet: knowledge. However, it is easier to get addicted to the wrong things, always!
Back in the day, elders warned us of the dangers of going out of the house into the streets. Today, Bo Burnham warns us of staying inside the house, glued to the Internet.
Let us hear what you think about this comedic masterpiece by Bo Burnham in the comments below. Check out the complete lyrics on Genius.