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So long and thanks for all the fish.

January 5, 2010

My sentence was interrupted when I saw the blue glow emanating from my passenger’s side seat. My friend, who I assumed had been paying oh-so close attention to the revelation I was having, squealed in delight as her teeth turned a pale cyan from the light of her Blackberry while she grinned.

“Tommy totally just sent me a Facebook message!” she cried as her nails clicked expertly away on the compact keypad.

I was suddenly (and painfully)  aware of the thinnest red line between adoration and abject unimportance.

And it was all the result of a mouse click.

Our mice (mouses?) have more power than we give them credit for. They are a gateway to the World Wide Web. In a land where the Like button has replaced “o wow thats kewl lol,” we are left to scrutinize the enigmatic responses of our latest crush (that we’ve already stalked extensively and know his roommate’s girlfriend’s sister’s face and name, thanks to that Christmas 2009 album) to our status updates or latest Twitter rant about the woman at the pet food store.

You know you’ve gotten to that place with a person when they ask, “Do you have a Facebook?” The only acceptable answer is “yes,” and anything else will get you labeled a networking outcast. Anyone unconnected is uncool. And as each generation is born deeper into the Age of the Microchip, we slip farther down the silicon slope, where every joke is a meme, where your life can be ruined by a cruel kid with too much time and not enough supervision, where a thing like Rule 34 exists, and nothing is sacred anymore.

But we can’t do without it.

Everything is wired now. My cellphone is 3G, I read my news online, I have a Kindle, everyone I know is textually active, and there’s a Facebook group for nearly everything I enjoy (even stupid stuff, like going out of my way to step on that crunchy-looking leaf. I mean, who doesn’t do that?).

Sometimes, it makes me take a step back. Does it all really matter? Does what someone like Perez Hilton says really matter? After you get over the haircut, not really. But who are we to judge? You’ve gotta work with what God gave you, as they say, and if your talents come wrapped in a package that’s made for Internet stardom, by all means. Not every panda can be famous. Only the sneezing ones.

This new way of communicating, from video blogs to texting, has forced us to adapt to an entirely different pace, language, and way of life. People don’t even have to leave their houses now to make purchases. People run business online. And the resources, the space is nearly without limit. So many ideas can be born from meetings where the clients sit thousands of miles away and see everything over a screen. The way companies do business and advertise transformed with the coming of the Information Age. There’s a lot to take in… And a lot to get out of it.

And it’s all right at the tip of your index finger, translated into 1s and 0s… With the click of a mouse.

Maybe Hitchhiker’s Guide got it right.

Maybe the world is ruled by mice.

One Comment leave one →
  1. B.G. Smith permalink*
    January 6, 2010 12:25 am

    Love this post…great writing!

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