The Great Disconnect (or caught in the Net)
by Ron Davidson (art by Shelby Moore)
When we look back at some of history’s greatest achievements, will we so fondly regard the “Net” as one of them?
An idea of sharing infinite amounts of information across an interconnected network conceived by great science fiction writers and futurists then brought to reality by equally great scientific minds.
Basically, a way to connect with anyone, anywhere at any time.
Or has it become the ability to distance ourselves from the world around us.
Every day in every way, we seem to become more and more disconnected.
Generations of families finding each other through a vast network of information, or families not being present while sharing the dinner table, no conversations are had. Just glazed eyes and rapidly moving thumbs and fingers as they surf, tweet, post, text, share and click.
We are quick to judge, opine, and whine just to be heard regardless of what we say.
Angry posts in all caps, misunderstood messages due to the tone we hear it in our heads as our own demons tear us down.
We are hyper-connected, yet we are not.
Mass amounts of information, whether true or false, fly around at the speed of light, yet we sit in darkness. Trusting and questioning it all. So easy is it to bare our souls and be invested in total strangers we will never meet, to reveal more to the ether than we shall ever share with those closest to us.
We are immersed in the lives of those who have gone viral, false celebrities, and false idols, yet we don’t know our neighbors, or worse, our own families.
Vitriol, verbal sewage, judging, trolling, bashing, shaming, and hatred are easy to spread behind the veil.
Then seconds later. post an inspirational motto, silly .gif, famous quote, or prayer request.
Clicks, likes, & shares fuel us to keep going.
We are addicts, starving for the next fix. We need confirmation, validation, and recognition of who we are. (Or think we are)
Making sure our voice is heard through the characters on a screen take precedence over ever being face to face, allowing us to hide further within our pods, basking the blue light glow.
Plugged in as we unplug.
Being immersed in our social networks, yet unsocial.
Posting and re-posting with no regard, tweeting & retweeting just to get a reaction, snapping to feed our vanity, updating with even the most banal actions so our followers are in the loop, going live during a crisis but not stopping to give aid, checking in as we do good so all know how humble and selfless we are, getting the best photo or selfie regardless of the risks to self or others.
Believing all we read online without seeking out the truth or checking facts. Asking strangers for life-changing advice and then criticizing it when it doesn’t suit you.
Common decency, common sense, and common courtesy are, sadly, no longer common.
Brains washed squeaky clean of original thought, free will, and civility… Infected with garbage, perversions, coercion, distractions, factions, political turmoil, financial strife, Go Fund Me or Kickstart this, funny cat and cute dog videos.
Getting woke, feeling cute but…, monetize me, make me viral, Click, like, comment and share for soon we won’t be here.
“Don’t believe everything you read on the internet just because there is a picture with a quote next to it.”