Blogging in the new age

Privacy is a thing of the past.

Social networking, twitting, IM’ing, chatting, email, smart phones, wireless hotspots… it doesn’t matter where you are in the world you can still connect with someone somewhere. A whole generation is growing up without that soul crushing loneliness that is endemic to the teenage years. Or are they? It remains to be seen if contact through the filter of the internet can replace the contact of two people in the same space. We all have friends with those split personalities… won’t say “boo” in person but are the life of the party online. Wit and charming cleverness abound when you have the grace period inherent in communicating online. Video chatting and voice chat have been fairly attainable technologies for a while now but have failed to catch on at the space pace as the chat feature in Facebook. Mostly, I believe, because it is too immediate, too personal. You can’t hide in the spaces between thought and expression when it’s too immediate.

No the ability to breath without fear in the moments before committing yourself, that is where the  new voice of a generation will come from.

Mind you hundreds of  years ago, a 3 week, or even months, delay gave rise the high point of intimate  and penetrating correspondence as mail was slowly shipped around the world  and poets, lovers and pundits shared their thoughts throught the exquisite arts of letter writing and diary keeping. For hundreds of years communication was allowed to be thoughtful, precise and targeted. The brief pause between thought and expression afforded by the internet has not yet brought that back but it certainly has had an effect on the disjointed society  that is our global community as created by tv and telephone. I believe people are thinking again and it will be interesting if the emphemeral nature of the internet will still have a taste of sagicity that came from the age of letters; is another Emily Dickinson or Samuel Pepys to emerge from this new age of instant yet protected communication?

Time, and the critics, will tell.

But all this to say, that privacy is changing too. As we share more and more, the idea that we are all private individuals seems to fade as we struggle to partake and shape the society around us. The lovely, leather bound locked diary of the 60s has disappeared and the journal has returned. Perhaps no will read it, view it or even understand it, but our voice has an audience and we are all taking much more care with what we say… and hopefully, that will be a good thing.

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