Thursday, January 23, 2014

Musings On Cyberspace

My friend, M.E. and I very often have conversations in which we save the world, among other things.  We don't always agree on how to do it, of course, but one thing we do agree about is that social media has isolated people, when it purports to put us in contact with people all over the world.  Granted, I am in contact with people near and far, but I can't say we're actually friends in the customary meaning of the word, in that we never meet in person.

Yesterday, we talked about how our kids (grown) tend to sit in front of their computer screens all the time when they are at home, or visiting their moms, and we wonder what they are finding to read that is so interesting.  E-mail can keep us in touch with family members and friends who are far away, but what do they find so interesting about Facebook, for instance?  From all indications, people post on Facebook several times a day, even while they are working rather than interacting with each other face to face.

I said that I thought this kind of isolation was partly the cause of the rudeness that abounds when people are in the actual presence of others.  And, I think it is a big reason for the lack of compassion of most people these days.

When you spend your life in front of a screen, you don't have to think about the people around you who are poor, sick, unemployed, etc., etc., because being on-line takes you to a separate universe, where you can just log out and forget about the people who live there, if their lives get too messy to read about.  You can create a world where everything is happy, prosperous, funny, clever, etc., and where you can make the world, and the country, anything you want it to be.  And you can find confirmation for any argument, or you can even rewrite history.

Maybe cyberspace isn't all it's cracked up to be.   I'm just sayin'

Stay tuned.

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