A Return To Form

It’s been a while. After taking oneself away from the surrounding world, jumping back in can seem a little daunting. To me, this is great analogy for social media. It’s a torrent of opinions, and memes, and generally a whole slew of topics, and ¬†strange entities. Once, all of those pieces were the objects that created “Nerd Culture” and now all of those parts have just become everyday culture.

As someone who grew up on forums, and around the internet in the old days, it’s such a strange site to see. Everyone, so it seems, is linking memes, going on news aggregates disguised as forums, and ranting about something on Facebook. Sometimes I’m not sure if what’s going on is how people actually feel, or if everything is clever manipulation of emotions in that particular moment. For example, a politician will say something wild to which everyone will react immediately.

Whereas many years ago, something crazy would happen, and you had time to process your feelings, or more importantly, your judgement couldn’t be so quickly documented. Even 9/11 was something that no student in school could fathom. Then on that day we all came home from school and watched it happen on television. One of the defining moments of a generation of people, and no one believe it happened until they saw it on television. At that time, the reactions were all over the place, and people were understandably upset. However, people also were slow to react.

Was the world better off before information went into hyper-speed, and moved from one part of the world to another in mere seconds? Can anyone honestly say whether it was? I don’t know, but often being present is less fun than not. With so many stories, and opinions, and reactions around, maybe ignorance truly is bliss.

 

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The Moderate Voice

Being a moderate must be feel weird at times. When anyone turns on the news, or feels like getting enraptured by social media, it’s clear that the loudest most radical of us are the only ones whose voices will be listened to. And why not? They make for great television, great headlines, and appeal to our irrational nature as human beings.

As one of those people who, as my friend once put it, is “straddling the fence,” when it comes to politics ¬†things can get frustrating at times. Republicans will think you’re a Democrat, and Democrats will think you’re a Republican. You’re damned if you speak, damned if you don’t.

Why is it that we do not listen, or have those people in the middle on television, or prominently in media? Is it because the truth is much more boring than the nightly news can handle? Can we not handle articles unless they have salacious headlines, and are presented by slick news reporters with buttery voices?

It would be nice to have a view that’s right down the middle. Well, we do have that view actually, but most of those people are comedians. For better or worse, comedians don’t have control of the voting public, nor do they have any power over policy. Hey, but at least they figured out how to be interesting.

In a culture where every voice is supposed to have a say, and where we constantly extol the virtues of freedom of speech, isn’t it weird that some voices get naturally stifled. Maybe, maybe not, maybe it’s just that the media has a requirement to be entertaining. After all, everyone has to sell ratings, and clicks. Some guy stating that the world is not that bad, and that everything is improving, is not going to have many people to parrot his opinion. And as it probably happens, many people probably think that way regardless of the media.