A new article compares the internet to ancient Rome's system of water supply based on lead pipes: technologically advanced, useful, and poisonous.
[Roman lead plumbing] was this amazing technological infrastructure. It was beautifully made, it provided them with an incredibly high standard of living and it also slowly, gradually made them irretrievably sick and insane*. It poisoned them day by day.
Seeing something as figuratively or literally poison is a classic fear meme.
Mental illness is a more recent, but still potent charge:
what if in 2000 years we look back on our current internet, and think of it as a fascinating but heartbreaking tale of hubris. A moment in time where people were consuming a type of technology they knew wasn’t good for them because it conferred status and prestige. And that thing they craved so much was slowly making them lose their minds.
Note the interesting class angle:
we look back at it now as this thing that was simultaneously a fascinating part of how their culture worked, and the invention of a new kind of urban living but also as something that was slowly but surely making the ruling class into people who were desperately ill with terrible impulse control without ever realizing it or understanding why.”
The author and interlocutor don't bother to translate this to the full range of contemporary society deeply invested in (and by, if I may tweak the metaphor) the internet. Perhaps they could make use of the lead-crime hypothesis.