The other side of the internet
It’s time to wrap up our week on social media. We started with math and the awesomeness of a contracting world. Since the world is at your doorstep, do you greet it wearing nothing but Saran-wrap?
Paul says: In the novel I, Robot, Earth is really over-populated but the outlying colonized planets are very sparsely occupied. Since there is so much distance between everyone on the colony, they do everything on-line. Asimov spends a good chunk of time describing the culture and mores that arise from this new remotely viewed society. They did things like chat on a video camera while nude. When face to face, where a person might touch them, they became total mysophobes and aphephobes. (For those of you who have fear of memorizing phobias, these are fear of germs and fear of human contact.)
As a Sci-Fi geek, I have to be a fan of Asimov. He basically created the ‘robots that are your friend’ thing. Even if you think that he was a big fat arrogant blowhard, like many did, you need to give him props. He wrote I, Robot in 1950, long before the internet was a glimmer in Al Gore’s eye. Now a days, we have a whole civilization that is built and thrives around electronic communication. And with Darwinian glee, we see it becoming more and more symbiotic with every generation that passes.
The smart parent has figured out how to use a cell phone like an electronic leash and the only price they had to pay was learning to decipher the code that has become the language of texting. This includes acronyms and putting letters together to create little symbols that become part of the text. ‘OMG I <3 u so much’ is a sentence that every parent of a 15 year old girl needs to understand.
Not only has a language and vocabulary been created but social interactions have changed because of social media. People will take off their clothes in front of a webcam at the drop of a hat. We can meet a person, fall in love, and have sex without leaving our house. Not only is it sanctioned in our world, if done right, it can be very healthy. Obviously, a slut is a slut and dropping trou on camera for your first date is the same thing as in real life but the other part, the part where you can fall in love and become intimate with a person from afar, is very nice.
For good or bad, social media and all of the electronic chat that comes with it are a central part of the world we live in. You can say that me and my children will never have a Facebook account but that just makes you and your children little Amish-like freaks. Or you can put your kid on Facebook at age 13 (don’t want to break any rules, now do we?) and, one day, your princess can be bait for all of the guys that Chris Hansen missed.
The bottom line is that the technology of relationship has changed but the rules have not. We still create boundaries with people. We still watch are children around strangers and make sure that they do not wander too far away. We still get sucked into other people’s victim stories, get pissed that we are hearing the same crap over and over again, then do everything that we can to drag ourselves out of it. The only difference is that we can do it at 2 in the morning, with no clothes on, and while playing solitaire.
Lee says: LOL! Paul ur so crazee. What I find interesting is the bar raising on what is precocious. Like hearing my daughter’s friend’s talk and hearing myself. However, that is me now after 20+ years of sex and debauchery. The internet is making things like losing your cyber virginity a typical Tuesday and the need to break the hymen in real life an item on a to-do list rather than a life moment. Someone needs to put the brakes on out there. Is it up to the tight assed conservatives to pray over our mother boards or do parents need to step it up and break the silence? Stop being wusses and talk to your kids. If Daddy is live-streaming midget porn, know that your son is checking out all the free pics of the same actors.