As I’ve shared at times, I was slow to become a blogger. However, once bitten by the blog-bug I really enjoyed an aspect of blog life that has seemingly all but disappeared. I loved the exchange that grew from comments shared. Not some “hey, I liked this post” comment – but thoughtful, insightful, challenging comments. I’ve been an I.T. Director for over twenty years. I remember well, when PCs were entering people’s everyday lives. When terms like mouse and bytes still made people smile. Just as the rate of processing, size of storage, speeds – refresh rates – blah increase exponentially … so the surrounding usage culture does, as well. From curious souls beginning to cruise the internet in the mid-90’s via dial-up … to bored-beyond-tears shells-of-souls that don’t even leave their reader to review some article, now. We’ve discovered yet, a new level of isolation. No longer do we even bother to visit some website’s storefront. We can get just enough of whatever content from our respective readers that we need not bother diving deeper. In just the last couple of years I’ve seen the exchange and engagement from interesting posts drop to virtually nothing. Typically – folks that wish to share any feedback at all now, go for the good ol “like” button. Even on most threads that possess a number of comments; most of the comments are extended “likes” or messy “dis’s”:
i.e., “I really liked that” – or – “that sucked … you’re a big fatty wrong head.”
Man – doesn’t anyone else see society just slipping into a great big lonely isolated virtual ‘life-reader’? Catching glimpses of what might be an actual thought or experience on the street in front of our house; but no longer even bothering to step out on the front porch to shout at the neighborhood hooligans raising the ruckus. We’re content to be life voyeurs. Scanning for action through the drapes – in the dark.
I’ve recently moved out of the I.T. field. I’m honestly not completely sure what that will mean but I know I’ve had my fill of what is ultimately just as empty a career path, as the resources involved. For all the good that technology held in the way of promise – I readily say how sad I am at what its primary impact has been on civilization. Making us numb. So many have grown to feel little or nothing in the way of genuine relational appetite. Making it worse is the corresponding lethargy about that fact. I am so sorry for the world we’re giving succeeding generations. Glance around at society in any large collective, at anytime. You will see a great many of them looking down at some screen, seeking distraction from whatever is occurring in front of them. But this isn’t new. What’s new is the level of greater isolation that surrounds it all. I honestly don’t know what might be desired next. Perhaps that we need not think at all but instead have thoughts issued to us by a service. Ringtone and thought downloads – select a category.
Just for a moment I’m going to do something slightly mean. If you’ve ever paid money for a ringtone or wallpaper – EVER – then you need to spend the next thirty minutes ridiculing yourself, and no expressions are too demeaning. Further – if you use Facebook for more than an hour per week … take an hour. Further still – broader – if you use Twitter at all, for any purpose, under any circumstance … ridicule yourself 24 hours a day for a week straight. There may still be hope.
In truth, if these observations are mildly accurate – then we’re collectively waaaaay past anything shared here meaning or mattering at all to anyone. Comments?