Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random Musings

(This is what happens when you have waaay too much time on your hands, an overactive imagination, a large vocabulary and a medium white chocolate mocha from Dutch Bros.)

I've been thinking about blogging, Facebook and Twitter recently (Okay...I was laying awake last night, trying to go to sleep and my mind wouldn't shut up!), and how all three have changed the way we interact with each other. Not just the non face-to-face kind of interaction but what we talk about. It seems that when we blog, Facebook (is that even a word?) or Twitter (I don't...) we tend to put out there, for all to see, the incredible minutiae of ones life. Now some lives are more interesting than others and I can see and enjoy Facebook's ability to let me catch up with people I haven't seen in 20-25 years but do I really need to know that you suck at Wii bowling? That you are going to the store for some more milk? That you've just finish reading "Twilight" and the movie was much better? (You're a moron if you think a movie is better than a book because there is only one movie that was at least as good as the book and that was the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy so there!) Or that you're now going to bed because you've been up all day? Of course you've been up all day! Unless you're a vampire or work the grave yard shift, you've been up all day because that is what the "day" is for...for you to be "up" in and moving about in.

But I digress.

I think with the advent of blogging, Facebooking, and Twittering we've lost the desire to focus on something other than ourselves. We call people who do that "heroes" and not the freaks on the NBC show either. Talking heads on the TV news put those people up in their "human interest" slot, you know, the last 30 seconds of the newscast which, if you did watch the news on TV anymore, you've already switched over to the guide so you can see what's on next. And it's there we find people actually getting out and making face-to-face with other people.

I'm guilty of this too. Posting here on my blog and making wise-ass comments over on Facebook is a great time waster, a fun distraction and a whole lot of narcissism! Are we really keeping "in touch" with others or are we engaged in a weird kind of "look at me" by posting that "Eric is done watching the Dallas Cowboys get slaughtered 44-3 and he's going to his room to cry" with the sole purpose to not really inform anyone of anything other than to entice them to post a comment so that a discussion will follow?

Curious question brings up does this? (Channeling a little Yoda there...) Will it ever go back to the way it is or will we be like that small group of people at Starbucks all texting frantically on their cell phones to the very same people who are sitting around the very same table as they are?

I think that those who either have resisted the onslaught of the minute-by-minute informing of others of exactly what others are doing, or have thrown away their devices or have weaned themselves off of this bandwagon are going to be fewer and fewer yet. And it doesn't stop with personal communication. It is now coming to education. There is a commercial for one online college that has a professor (Uncle Phil from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air") stating that he has failed his student by keeping them in a brick-and-mortar school when they could be learning just as easily sitting in a park, sipping a latte at Starbucks or doing their Ethics 101 final from the privacy of their bedroom, dressed in their jammies with their hair up in a bun. Since the internet has given brick-and-mortar business a run for their money does that mean all other avenues of commerce, education and communication have to go that way? Or, as my Dad used to say, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge would you?" (Your Dad said that too? He know my Dad?)

I'm just saying, I think this blogging, Facebook, Twitter thing is taking us somewhere we may not want to be and when we get there and look back we'll realize we can't go back no matter how hard we try.

Then what?


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