Dec 15, 2008

Posted by in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Six Degrees of Separation

Six Degrees of Separation

    The Internet is an amazing toy.  You type in a name and in a matter of seconds you have the ability to rediscover old girl friends — assuming they didn’t droptheir maiden name — next door neighbors, classmates, bunk-mates, teachers, old nemesis and on and on.  You can go to IMDB and find out who played the “third woman at the bar” in Porky’s, you can Wiki  Lost and gain insight into the mysteries of the Island, Google “Hanukkah” and understand exactly why Jews celebrate it.  You can log onto Pandora.com and create our own commercial free radio station.  You can track political races, play on line games with total strangers for fun and real money; get introductions to members of the opposite (or same) sex for fun, companionship, sex and bondage.  In short, you need not even leave your home to have access to the world.

It used to be you need only go to Epcot or Vegas to experience the psuedo wonders of the world.  Now you can do it on line.  The voyeurism of You Tube can get you access to the car wrecks you are too squemish or embarrassed to gawk at in public.  But then you all know all that, so what’s my point?

Well I guess I miss learning about life from actual experience rather than by having it filtered through the lens of a total stranger.  I am struggling with the etiquette of on line communications.  How much time needs to go by before your failure to respond to being “Tagged” or invited to join a personal network is considered rude?

In truth, I am a little overwhelmed by the technology and a bit nostalgic for the fine art of hanging out.  I like being able to read body language to help discern what someone is reallysaying.  i can’t tell you how many times I had to unravel a sacastic comment I made in an e-maill that some misunderstood because I failed to add an LOL.  I miss thinking I am the smartest guy in the room because I have a head full of meaningless trivia when anyone can know what I know by just going on line.

But then again without the net I’d have to set up a soapbox in Union Square to get my thoughts out to the world rather than posting on my very own blog –which apparently is getting its in Sweden, Australia, North Dakota and god knows where.  But what good is being heard if you don’t get the benefit of the feedback.  Which is why I cherish my Tuesday night’s standing in a circle with my guys.

Andthat’s my rant.  which comes from spending a weekend with my sister who is much more net adept than me and made left me feeling so old school.  And I haven’t even begun to try to get my arms around the cyberworld of my 13 year old who disdains talking on the phone but will text away until the cows come home.  So much so that she would sooner text a friend than have a conversation across the dinner table.  Which brings to mind an experiment I once read about.  A room full of people, a television in the room.  Two people step to the front of the room and begin to fight.  The fight is being caught by a camera which transmitting the images on the TV.  And consistently the overwhelming majority of the eyes are on the television and not the live fight even though the are equidistant from the audience.  When you go to a sporting event how much time is spent watching the Jumbotron rather than the field?

So stop reading this, go outside and start living a little.

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