Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Too Much of a Good Thing?
Dad misses his kid's first steps because he's busy answering an email from a coworker on Sunday morning regarding business not even considered yet, but considering it on Sunday gives them a jump on when it might come up on Monday. But have no fear, Mom caught Junior's stumbling first steps on her I Phone and can download it later for Dad to see when he's ready.
In the meantime a lovely daughter crosses the yellow line into oncoming traffic on her way to the store to run an errand for the family. Her text asking a friend how her previous night of partying went, more important than steering safely through the suburban traffic hurrying to the local strip mall for groceries needed for that one meal a week together many families hope for, but when they sit down, the meal is taken in bites between electronic bells and tunes ringing from everyone's cell phone.
A pedestrian is mowed down by a granny taking a right turn with one hand while she pokes at her GPS screen with the other hand instead watching the road. Her explanation to the officers answering the call, "The gadget told me to go right, so I turned." The pedestrian lays crumpled and broken with his brand new Blackberry clutched in his right hand.
Grand kids sit pasty faced and bulging at the seams on the couch in front of the 50" HD TV in the basement gaming and giving their thumbs the work out that should be given to their legs and lungs. Trees stand outside unhappy and sad that small legs wearing untied sneakers no longer hang from their boughs.
Face to face conversation has become rare. People are more comfortable revealing their secrets to the whole world via Facebook, Twitter, electronic forums and of course Blogs. Factual news has become nothing more than opinion disguised as fact spewed from countless web sites hoping to re- write history and push fringe notions on what is right and what is wrong. Using 30 second sound bites and video blinks, we decide the fate of the physical world our bodies exist in and then retire to the safety of the virtual world we have created for our minds.
Relationships become electronic and long distance allowing each lover to satiate themselves as they will without concern for the electric lover they imagine is real. Giving an employer 8 hours of work is resented and often abused as 4 of those hours are spent connecting with interests and friends from our virtual reality.
At some point, virtual becomes real, and we reject the world we were born into. The Real World is nothing but a tedious chore we have to deal with. We have always known we had no control over the Physical World, but we can control our virtual one. Or so we think.
Once the inventors, purveyors and providers lauded this new World Wide Web as the wave of the future that would finally bring the World together. Now that it has become part and parcel of our human condition, many have decided that we have a longer road to unification because of it. Concern for the general welfare mutating and breaking down into a selfish myriad of apprehensions over minutia and we focus on finding individuals who share our exact mindset. Thinking that because there are a million people who share our self centered take, we refuse to entertain the notion that diversity is what got us here and we decide that only our way is the right way.
There is always chaos and uncertainty in the beginning of a thing. And so it seems chaos lurks at the end. We have some time I think to figure out which end we are at. But I won't hold my breath.