Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The End of Alone

The End of Alone - The Boston Globe

At our desk, on the road, or on a remote beach, the world is a tap away. It's so cool. And yet it's not. What we lose with our constant connectedness.

By Neil Swidey
February 8, 2009

Don't get me wrong. I love technology. It's magical how it makes the world closer, and more immediate. Take, for instance, the real-time way we learned about the plane that skidded off a Denver runway and burst into flames in December. One of the passengers on Continental Flight 1404 used Twitter to share everything from his initial profanity- and typo-laced reaction to making it out of the fiery jet ("Holy [bleeping bleep] I wasbjust in a plane crash!") to his lament that the airline wasn't providing drinks to the survivors who'd been penned into the airport lounge ("You have your wits scared out of you, drag your butt out of a flaming ball of wreckage and you can't even get a vodka-tonic.")
(more at link above)

This is an example of how technology is fostering and encouraging cultural transformation. The concept of alone - like a single person out on the Oregon Trail back in the 1800s - the idea itself of alone - is changing in light of the fact of handheld electronic devices and the Internet. Even if the battery goes dead and you really cut-off from communication with the outside world, your concept of alone has been forever changed.

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