Flying Squirrel

The uses of the Internet

Flying SquirrelThe original version of this was posted in my personal journal.  I think the concept applies very much to polyamory and other forms of  “Uncharted Love.”  How do we use technology to draw us together?  When does technology push us further apart? I’d love to hear what you have to say!

 

“Does it draw us together, or tear us apart?” Somewhere in my personal journal (and at the moment I do not have time to continue looking), I have at least one entry where I referenced a fascinating article about how the Amish determine if a technology is a good one for them to embrace. Apparently, there is some cell phone use that is allowable, because it passes this test–it draws the community together, and allows them to, for instance, reach someone in a far off field in an emergency. It makes sense to me, as a way of determining what is “good” and what is not. [Here is an archived version of the original article by Howard Rheingold in Wired Magazine.]

I’ve been thinking about this concept again over the past few days, and there have been a couple of things that have crossed my virtual desk that seem like excellent examples of this, to me.

For instance, the Internet is a fascinating place. There are so many things one can use it for. These days, I haven’t the bandwidth (to use a particularly internet-associated word for “energy”) to get involved in some of the passionate discussions I would have in the past. In some ways, that’s good. I was too invested in places that didn’t serve me. In others, it’s a comment on how useless I think it is to even HAVE some of these discussions. I’m a bit jaded, in other words, as compared to a decade ago when I first leapt into this gigantic livingroom/soapbox we call LiveJournal.

But for right now, I’m going to go a bit out on a limb (hey, I’m a squirrel, leaping!) and say that this is an example of a use of the Internet that tears us apart:
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=question&id=10150213073290126&qa_ref=ns
I’m so tempted to go in there swinging, and telling these so-and-so’s exactly what I think of their ridiculous jockeying for position over an Internet straw poll. I mean, seriously. Is it really worth telling all my friends and getting everyone all worked up over whether or not the “pro-lifers” or the “libtards” have more votes in this poll? No, not really. It might be worth telling everyone, but only insofar as it’s a means to getting people into action in some more effective manner. And besides which, getting drawn into this discussion will just drive me crazy, trying to talk “sense” [from my perspective!] into people that sound just like my mother (*shudder*).

THIS, on the other hand, is an AMAZING use of the Internet:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7o7BrlbaDs&feature=relmfu
If you somehow missed it last year (as I somehow seem to have–how the HECK did that happen??), then it’s well worth the few minutes to listen and enjoy. And if you want more information, there’s a whole TED talk on the topic for your viewing/thinking pleasure:
http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_whitacre_a_virtual_choir_2_000_voices_strong.html

And now, I’m late to an appointment. If I can, I’ll come fix the links later. Or not. As I might in fact, have better things to do. ;^)


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