(Dis)(Re)connectPosted: April 16, 2013 | |
I think this whole mess is about connections or our lack thereof. I also believe that connections are our salvation. But real ones. Not IP ones. Not iConnections.
The only way you could do something like what happened at the marathon is if you viewed all those bystanders as separate and apart from you. At this point whether “you” is a person, a group of people, a nation or a region is unclear. But I’m sure “you” feel disconnected. Otherwise you’d be blowing up yourself, right?
On a macro level I think that since the harmonic convergence of the 60s the world is now retreating back into our respective corners. Turns out love is not, in fact, all we need. Seems we need stuff, wealth, power, guns and devices. Lots and lots of devices.
The Us vs. Them that’s playing out on the global stage is mutated a bit on smaller scale. It’s not Us vs. Them but Me and You. It’s less sinister and corrosive but no less dangerous. Whereas Us vs. Them (UvT moving forward) frequently takes the form of aggression towards our neighbors, MaY takes the form of regression. It’s a retreat into our shells. Our heads ensconced in headphones and soon Google Glasses if Satan is real as I strongly suspect, we plug into our vWorlds and disconnect from our real ones. Sorry, the real one. We all come at it differently, but there’s just one. And we share it.
I see tweets and headlines today about “What can Tech do in response to yesterday’s bombing?” or godforbid “What can advertising do…?”
I take it back. There is something.
Lay down your weapons. We can’t app or advertise our way out of this jam. Don’t push the quick fix. These will be the hard yards. This is the proverbial crawl through glass. We have to actually do something. Not talk about doing something. Not create a “something experience”. There is no app for this.
It’s not about starting a movement. It’s about moving. Action.
And real discussion. We obviously need to find out who did this and handle our business there. But there’s a million or more right behind them. That’s one place I agree with Gun nuts. If you take an AK away bad guys will come up with something else to murder and maim. That’s sadly true. We are obligated to make it harder, however, but it’s a fair point. Guns do kill people but it really is true that it’s actually people that kill people.
And so people have to start talking to people again. In the pubs. In the coffee shops. At soccer games. In the lunch room. Around the dinner table. Disconnect the devices and reconnect with our fellow humans.
Gawker.com will still be there when we get back. The question is will our first-person interactions make third-person social voyeurism less appealing.
I guess we’ll have to google that bridge when we come to it.
(Yes, I’m aware I’m delivering this sermon via blog. Boston wasn’t built in a day. But it was blown up on one.)