Social Media Makes History…or Lincoln’s Wearing Pink Underwear

It’s an undeniable fact, sometimes a sad one, that the evolution of communication technology has led to what I call the cult of instant mass personalization.  I was on a social media site the other day and someone was posting, about every couple hours, what they were eating, and how at this point in the day a certain company’s French fries tasted better than another’s. It got me thinking: what a perverted sense of history we must have. We now live in a world where we know everything about everyone in real time. Or actually, we know what people want us to know, and we know what we think they are, but we really don’t know anything at all. We just have lots of mostly useless information. Maybe too much sometimes. But this info – it’s really personal, but now it’s out there for the world to see, and it’s locked away in someone’s servers for eternity. It kind of changes the definition of history in the making, when you think about it.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not preaching – I’m as guilty as the next person. I’m out there putting my best face, or facebook as the pun goes, forward. One look at my posts and you’ll see I’m caught in the wave, too. But every once in a while it’s nice to sit on shore and look at the churning sea of communications and kind of take it all in. I wonder if anyone knows how to talk to each other anymore, or if I put myself in a room with 15 other people, had a conversation and we all got text messages at the same time, if we’d all reach first and then talk later? (I know I would).  I wonder if we’d say half the things we say (or, I mean, write) if we actually had to say them to someone’s face, rather then post them anonymously like some kind of rhetorical voyeur for all the world to see? Would someone really go out of their way to tell me that they had a really bad ingrown toenail, or maybe by the time we got face-to-face, some of this stuff would become irrelevant? I wonder if history will be changed by this constant stream of noise?

What would it have been like if social media existed, say, during the Civil War?

  •  We’ve been marching 4 days and my feet r killing me! What I wouldn’t do for comfy shoes.
  • RT: Lee says we’re outta here. Does that mean I have to pack? I have a game on Sunday…
  • My tent mate is an a-hole. Snores like a bear. I’m going to stuff him like a turkey if he doesn’t stop.
  • @hunkymusket: My tent mate is a hunk. His snore is cute. I’m going to stuff him like a turkey if I get the chance. tee hee 🙂
  • @G’Burg, Lil RoundTop: This guy Chamberlin might be smart, but he’s annoying as hell. If I don’t get off this hill soon I’m going to shoot someone! Ha ha ha LOL.
  • Wow, that guy Lincoln is tall! I can’t hear him, but I sure can see him. It doesn’t matter. No one will remember what he says here anyway. Politicians – they’re all the same. blah, blah, blah ,G’burg, blah, blah, blah, dead people. Hey, I think he’s wearing pink briefs!
  • Hey look, there’s a black guy. Good reminder of what we r
    fighting 4. 🙂
  • I’m craving mutton. God, I’m hungry. I just ate grass. It’s gross, but it’s high in fiber. Yum.
  • “Four score,” who talks like that? This is nuts. GTG, commander just shot me a look.
  • I got a #boil on my foot yesterday. It’s leaking like crazy. Looks like I have to take a bath in the river today. Oh joy.
  • On battlefield. Jones just went down. Guts everywhere. So many screaming in pain. Place is burning like hell. All I can think about is seeing Sarah naked in the shower. Isn’t that sick?
  • Sitting here on this hill. Ready to take the enemy by surprise. Boy are they going to be shocked. Oh God…ah, darn, that hurts. Just got shot. Guess they have Twitter, too!

Something to think about…

— Jeff Kimball

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2 responses to “Social Media Makes History…or Lincoln’s Wearing Pink Underwear

  1. I completely agree, Jeff. Great post. It greatly saddens me how many young people don’t seem to be able to even carry on a conversation with each other. I’ll never forget when my son went to high school. He had several friends over and they were all sitting out in the yard. I thought, “nice! they’re just hanging and talking.” Then I looked closer. No one was talking. They were all texting to people who weren’t there (with the exception of my son who didn’t have a cell phone yet – he looked kind of sad and lost, really).

    How bizarre. Now I actually see kids who are in each other’s company and they TEXT each other rather than talking! Something is dreadfully wrong.

    Again, great post.

    And happy Easter ahead of time to you…..

  2. I totally agree we forgot the one thing that makes life goes around which is human interaction. We as a nation depends too much on our data devices bad thing is what would happen if these devices was to die one day….lol….some of us might think the end of the world was here. For me I have lunch or dinner with friends once a week. Out of our encounters we talk about world to local problems. One local problem we have solved about jobs in our area by hosting a job club lunch. We invite 3 to 4 hr managers to talk about their companies and jobs that are coming open and when to apply.

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