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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 12:47 PM
Original message
Something interesting to think about
This is a comment left after the editorial on this page: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/11783

The editorial is great but I think this comment gives us a lot to consider. It is the ninth one below the piece: http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/11783

First, kill the Internet

I've been thinking for a long time now that one of the biggest problems we have -- as well as one of the biggest benefits -- is the Internet.

On the benefit side, we can meet up with and discuss things with people we never could have done before. On the negative side, though, we mistake that meeting up and discussing for "taking action."

People ask what is different now and in the '60s. One big thing is that I can remember in the'60s going to two or three meetings a week, and those meeting resulted in direct action locally. I met a lot of people. I took part in protests -- at first small and then huge. Things happened.

Today, we (and I'm as guilty as anyone) sit home, sip tea, have close personal relationships with people we've never met, who have made-up nicknames, and who, like us, will peck away on their keyboards all day. Then, they fall into bed exhausted because they feel they have done something.

There's a similar phenomenon, I'm told, in the personal relations world. I have (gay) friends who are into the dating scene. In the old days, they would have gone to a gay bar, socialized and maybe met someone -- or not -- for either a one-night stand, or maybe more. Even if they didn't meet someone for dating, however, they met other people, made friends, had relationships, and some conversation.

Today, the news is that gay bars are dwindling. Too many people are staying home trying to "hook up" on the Internet. They peck away at their keyboards all day, talking to people with made-up nicknames and often phony "stats," and think they have had a series of personal relationships, when they haven't.

They may hook up once in a while, but, I'm told, most of the online encounters fizzle before the actual meeting. In other cases, the actual meeting is disappointing because the 28-year-old, 6'2, 180-pound, blond hunk is a 38-year-old, 5'8, 220-pound bottle-blond hulk (who is married and cheating on his wife). But they also miss out on the serendipity of maybe meeting other people, making friends, and forming useful social networks.

It's the same in the political arena. While the Internet has a value in sharing information and circumventing the MSM, it also gives us the illusion of action, when what we're really doing is isolating.
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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 12:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. stephen colbert says the same thing
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. Certainly food for thought. recommended.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. I will be the first to admit I spend far too much time online
:)
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Well, I guess that makes me SECOND, then...
Gotta wonder where #3 through 10,000 are. :shrug:

Has this post simply been overlooked amidst all the Bhutto goings-on,
or does it maybe hit a bit too close to home for some?
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Could be
I did consider not posting it.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
5. Aside from assassination and standing around being ignored in a free speech zone
what kind of action do you think is possible?
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:45 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. Whoa! Black-and-white think often?
Wow! I told my friend what you posted and we both laughed our asses off :rofl:
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. Are you really proud of that? You didn't address my point at all.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. I think we should all do what we can
And the point of the comment I posted is that too many people spend time online that could be spent out in the real world making a difference.

As for the kinds of actions, that would depend on where you live and what kind of time you have.
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FiveGoodMen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. I wasn't being snarky.
There's not that much that can be done.

Mostly, there's communication and fund-raising. Both done very well on the internet.

Unless you hold office or have connections, about the most you can do to "make a difference" is to tell those around you what you think. Again, the internet is good for that.

There are things you can do outside of the house, but they're not necessarily more effective. Remember the millions of protesters around the world that opposed the Iraq invasion? Bush called them a focus group and went in anyway. Those people had guts, convictions, they went out to make a difference...but they didn't. I should have worked, but it didn't.

Most of what you actually can do, you can do online.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 03:29 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I disagree
There is still much to be done and most of it not online. I go to marches and I will continue to go. Just because the media ignored the last march doesn't mean they will ignore the next one.

I lobby my congress reps by not only emailing and signing online petitions, but also by meeting with them in person.

I work on campaigns and that involves knocking on doors and making phone calls.

I use the internet for educating myself and connecting with other people. But I do need to get up and go out into the real world if I want to accomplish anything.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
6. Excellent points - rarely does a post impact me
in a way that makes me stop and think. Thanks for sharing.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. You are most welcome
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JFN1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
9. It will balance out
Don't forget - the commercial Internet is still brand new - only about 10-12 years, and the social aspect of the Internet is even newer, only about 5-7 years old.

While I agree that the Internet has become a surrogate for normal human interaction, this same phenomenon was first noted about radio, and then television.

Any new medium will enthrall its users for a time. Once we incorporate it and prioritize it, once we've all had enough of serial relationships without meaningful substance, we'll put the entire process into perspective, and adjust our behaviors accordingly.
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tblue37 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-28-07 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R n/t
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