Thursday, March 15, 2012
I'm working on a really interesting story at the moment, one that requires me to delve deep into the future. It's a fascinating place, the future. I'd tell you about it, but that would negate the need to write the story and then where would we all be?
In the course of working through my story, I found myself talking to a social researcher (SR) this morning. (As an aside, I think that if I were to ever decide I didn't want to be a writer anymore, I'd find myself heading in that direction. Finding out what makes us tick, why we live the way we live? Oh yes, I could do that when I grow up.)
Anyway, today's lovely SR is researching, among other things, the effects of social media and other technological advances on we poor guinea-pig humans. The fact that delving regularly into this brave new world may bring on as-yet-unforeseen health problems in the future. The fact that so much information shared so quickly and with such instant responses required might be affecting the way our very brains work.
I ventured that there are days when I find the levels of outrage on the internet to be exhausting. If it's not one thing, it's another. One corner of my brain recognises that outrage drives traffic, the rest of it is left thinking 'really? again?'.
My friendly SR laughed. We agreed that at least on the internet you can look away.
We live in a world where opinion is currency. Look at me, having one right here. It used to be about facts, balance. There'd be one or two columnists in a newspaper or magazine. One or two opinion pieces dispersed through a sea of third-person features or objective news reports. One or two pieces that began with 'I'.
Now it seems that 'I' is all there is. Particularly online (just look at the first word in this post!). So many voices out there shouting to be heard.
You have to wonder, though, who is listening? Everyone and no-one?
[image: Sounds of Silence 2 by JKphotography/etsy]