Days of our connected lives

Last week I wrote on Twitter that forums and social media hurt my optimism in the future of mankind. I wrote this after wasting time reading a couple flame wars on forums and after seeing a bunch of ignorant comments on Twitter and Facebook.
Since then, things have not improved. Even in my small ‘twittersphere’ (both my followers and following list are under 150), there has been too much drama lately. To call us a bunch of high-schoolers would be an insult to adolescents world wide. There is a reason why cocktail parties end after a couple hours. Social media and internet don’t have that luxury. We’re all still around after getting drunk and too familiar with each other, and that’s when the gloves come off.
The accessibility and diversity of our online social circle provides great opportunities, but with that comes great responsibility. Which, apparently, is tough to uphold 24/7. I’m not writing this from an ivory tower, I’m just as guilty as the next guy.
Global and immediate connectivity has enabled great things, from revolutions to people just socializing with peers that live halfway around the globe. It also allows us to pick fights with strangers, spew ignorant BS and turn fiction into fact through the power of repetition. Maybe there should be an international day of on-line restraint? I guess that would just mean turning our devices off for a while. After all is said and done, were all individuals and it’s tough to be empathetic when others don’t share our beliefs. Especially in 140 characters.

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