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Sunday, August 28, 2016

Once again, mankind proves its true worth.

Modern technology is changing our lives. Using nothing but our phone we can purchase almost anything from a mind numbing variety of locations on the world wide web, have it shipped to work, to our house, billed to any of several credit cards stashed in our wallet, and then when the light changes we can drive home, calling in a pizza to be delivered shortly after we arrive.

We can sit down and watch a streaming movie, commercial free, with the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward.  

Life has been reduced to a series of digital interactions, a data flow, between servers, clouds, and devices. our existence has been "enriched" to a system of exchanges. We barely even need a water cooler, or lunch room to find someone to share our small victories, and tiny defeats.

"Social Media" is the new method of conversation.  As defined by Miriam Webster: Social. adj, of or relating to people or society in general (there are other definitions but they don't fit very well with Social Media, so I ignored them).  Media. noun, the main means of mass communication (or plural for medium, which doesn't work here, so lets ignore that too).

Clearly, by the definitions above we can see the power inherent in this new method of personal exchanges.  The main method of communication among people, or society in general.

But, people ignore the pleasant and post the banal. And people lurk, waiting to criticize, and the ugliness of humanity comes rushing forward. And, it is awful, and the faceless, nameless nature makes the hateful fearless. The lack of accountability makes it easy to attack. Now, the rude and vile can talk about people behind their back and to their face at the same time. Talk about convenience, the miracle of technology.

My wife complains often about the curse of cell phones on mankind, the addiction to little screens dragging people into the abyss. But, she is not completely correct. It is not the phone, or tablets, it is the people. No matter what the problem, adding a few well intentioned people can make it exponentially worse.