Every generation “can’t imagine what it was like” with regard to something. Various generations have recently gone through not knowing what it was like before automobiles, before flight, before black and white TV, before space travel, before CDs, and — increasingly —before social media.
The thing about being plugged into the interweb is that you’re plugged into something very, very big. Not just big, big and fast. Lots of information rushes by very fast all the time. Drinking from the interweb — as those they that say things say — is like trying to sip from a firehose.
So what about a generation that’s never known the quiet?
What about a generation that’s only known the constant bombardment of information, from unwelcome advertising to intimate emails, from texts and tweets to YouTube videos?
Our obsessive growth over the past decades seems to have created larger and larger gaps between generations. As the world evolves faster, each new group is that much further from its parents.
What is the level of discourse; how do we interact with each other these days? What value system is reflected by the myriad voices in the public square?
Some kinds of change wax and wane in cycles. The seasons pass, new comes from old, things evolve and grow. Life has pattern and path.
Other kinds of change end catastrophically. The over-pressured boiler explodes. The eroded cliff face collapses. A critical mass goes nuclear!
So the thing is: are we changing with new seasons of humanity or are we headed for critical mass?
When one looks around, there are a lot of things to be concerned about. (Helium. Did you know you should be concerned about helium? It’s just one of many important resources that is limited — there’s way more to it than just fuel!)
But all that aside, just the sheer noise level these days is astonishing. Advertising sinks its tentacles into everything (I hope you appreciate how I pay extra to make the ads here not be here). There are formerly good websites I hate to visit now because of the ads.
Noise has two faces: There is the idea of unwanted sound that’s too loud to ignore — noisy kids! There is also the idea of noise in the signal — static, noise that interferes with your view, distractions.
The world isn’t just loud these days. There is also a lot of noise in our signal.
Maybe that’s something we should be talking about.