Monday, June 23, 2008


Throughout the "information revolution" (a term which we don't hear much anymore - but an era which we're still experiencing), we've seen a world which is becoming more and more interconnected.  It's not just email and visiting websites anymore.  Social networking sites are coming up with ever-more creative ways of keeping us interacting with one another (the "applications" in Facebook, for example). We communicate in ways we wouldn't have anticipated just a few short years ago.  Having easily accessible email on cell phones is heading toward a standard feature. Communicating through video is widespred (live or through services like "YouTube"

When I was a kid, I communicated with my friends either face to face or on the phone. No email. No Myspace. No multiplayer games (well, not computer-based, anyway).  And when my family moved across the country, my childhood friends and I drifted apart.  Eleven year-olds don't generally write a lot of letters.  You found out about your friends and their interests by spending time with them, and visiting with them. Kids still do that, but they find out much more much faster through their online connection.   If a kid today moves away from his hometown, he'll tend to stay in touch much longer.

Our communications technology continues to develop at an amazing pace, and the kids that are growing up with computers today will have an entirely different experience than kids growing up with computers only ten years ago.  There's a tendency by some to see the world becoming more impersonal as a result of these new forms of communication.  I don't agree.  As these technologies develop, along with the necessary safeguards and customs that will better protect the vulnerable, more people will tend to see the net as offering viable and acceptable extensions of one's social life.  Anyone who spends a good deal of time online understands that already.

We're still in the early stages of the "revolution."  Who we are and how we interact is evolving and changing constantly, changing the very nature of community - locally, nationally and internationally.  As the telegraph and telephone was responsible for dramatic changes in the way we live, information technology is doing the same.  And we've got a long way to go...


Anonymous said...

I liked communicating using two cans and a piece of string. I was always on the forefront of technology.

Rich Samuels said...

True. I, too was quite excited about the modern technology of our day.