A few days ago I posted Chapter 2. This post may contain some spoilers if you haven’t read Chapter 2 yet. So you have been warned 🙂
In Chapter 2 we meet Buzzworthy, the demon of social networks. In the modern days, where we wake up, get news from people all over the world and then get out of the bed, Buzzworthy is a very busy demon.
I was born in the early 80s. Mobile phones came to the market when I was in junior high. Oh by the way if you were wondering where the idea comes from…
Yep… The communicators on Star Trek 🙂 It is a good example to how much science fiction can be ahead of the technology of its time.
Maybe (if you are a science fiction fan like me) you have other examples to this (leave a comment if you do! We should compare notes).
There was only one boy in our class who owned a mobile phone and we all made fun of him. By the time I was in high school everyone owned a mobile and not having one became unthinkable.
Does anyone remember the Matrix phone from Nokia?
Looks sooo retro now, doesn’t it? Anything that doesn’t have a touchscreen looks like ages old.
Oh by the way if you don’t know where that idea comes from:
Yep! Again, Star Trek. The story is that for the second generation movies they didn’t have enough budget to recreate those ruby-like illuminated buttons
So they just took a plastic film with the pictures of the buttons and pasted it on an illuminated screen. Way to go guys!
But let’s get back to mobile phones. It is actually very funny. We had never realized that we needed to be reachable any time and anywhere but now, we basically cannot live without it.
Try and do the experiment. Leave your phone at home for one day (spoiler: it will be a nightmare).
For the internet and the personal computers it was pretty much the same. But the internet also satisfies another need that we have: over sharing… Of course, by that I mean sharing the details of one’s personal life (and more personal detail than is absolutely necessary).
Unlike the mobile phones “sharing” is ages old. You know, when you take a long bus ride and this guy sits next to you and asks you “Where do you come from?” and then goes on and on and tells you the story of his life… Imagine this guy, standing on a barrel in the middle of a crowd and yelling the story of his life, what he ate for dinner (he shows you the picture), his relationship status, etc. This is like Facebook. And if he were to yell it inside a well only for the whole village to hear the echo of his words (like in the story of the King Midas) it would be like the Whisper.
But the difference with the social networks is the Internet. Everyone must have heard the saying: “Once something is on the Internet, it is there forever”. Meaning that people can trace it back to you. Just like the way Buzzworthy finds Cindy.
Of course that we are proud of what we share and proud of who we are. We don’t do anything wrong in our lives and we certainly don’t need to hide from anyone. But the thing is, something that is perfectly normal today, can become illegal tomorrow. With some governments this wouldn’t even be a surprise.
Also, we don’t actually control what we are putting out there. By this, I mean the metadata. I recently found out that Facebook records even the posts that you actually don’t send, the posts that you write but then change your mind and never publish.
It is part of a research they are doing on self-censuring.
Now that the mobile phones and the Internet have united, in one device that is the smartphone, we are constantly on it. You probably must have heard the “Smartphones, dumb people” mantra, maybe too much. But seriously, when you find yourself in this situation:
You have a feeling that something is wrong. It makes me think of the book Blind Faith from Ben Elton. People are always and constantly connected to social networks, sharing details of their lives that are meaningless even to them, instead of looking up and experiencing life.
Finally, check this awesome blog post:
which I think summarizes all the reasons why a self-absorbed, over sharing, under caring society can be scary.
Am I right? What do you think?
Live long and prosper