Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Welcome to the Social Catastrophe

I remember 1994. It was the year of my High School graduation. My senior year began with the "September that never ended". While my father had connected to a couple BBSs in his time, this was really the beginning of the internet for so many of us. I've loved the internet ever since.

The promise of the internet... to connect you with people who share your interests around the world, to house the world's knowledge, to let you track down and buy almost anything your heart desires regardless of how niche it is. Wikipedia, Google Maps, Amazon, YouTube, Archive.org, Massively Multi-player Online Gaming, On Demand streaming of all of the music and movies you could ever want... it's all been pretty amazing and great. Then, individuals with their great opportunities to express themselves thanks to Blogs, and then later... Social Media sites such as the old MySpace and Facebook.

Your enjoyment of Social Media is in large part determined by how well you curate your list of "Friends" on these sites. Also, just the format and structure of these sites has a pretty strong influence on the types of dialog you'll find people engaged in. I currently have GPlus, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and on two of them I have been pretty selective in who I've added as a contact/friend. The other one is Facebook. On Facebook I accept friend requests from anyone that can in any way be traced to me through people I may know. This gives my feed a local flavor, as it consists of a variety of people who went to my High School and branches out from there, and I still live in the same town.

Before the internet, depending on how social you were, you tended to know a certain selection of mostly local people and had a feel for their opinions, but generally people apply a filter in face to face interactions that moderated this effect. On the internet people are often more open with their opinions, but you are free to select what sources you are getting your news and opinions from. This can put you in a cocoon where you are shielded from the absolute insanity that is "normal, everyday people". My Facebook feed has taught me a harsh lesson:

People: We are fucked.

I know I am far from alone.  Daily, we put faces to palms and despair. This blog is my therapy. Sometimes I feel buried and alone among a sea of wrong and pitchforks, trapped in a nightmarish Twilight Zone reality until I get the opportunity to let go with friends on the weekend.  Here I analyze, vent and wonder just what the hell people are thinking.  How did we get here?

Welcome to the Social Catastrophe.

2 comments:

  1. Well, I'll need to work on my writing, but the first one is up!

    ReplyDelete