Pacifying the masses

Molly Cahill

It is considered a mark of our society’s advancement how quickly and with such ease we are able to share information. The right of free speech is guaranteed to us in the constitution that forms the base of our country’s laws. Nowhere else in the world will you find a country whose people are so free to speak their minds. I have to ask why then, do we feel the need to take that ability right to a place where we regularly share the intimate (and often insignificant) details of our daily lives with anyone who has access to the Internet?

The advent and subsequent popularity of the various social media like Facebook and Twitter have left us more plugged in and hooked up than ever. Almost gone are the days when you could easily go a week without knowing that that one guy you had a class with in high school had gas after eating at Chipotle.

We are so fascinated with knowing every minute detail of our acquaintance’s lives and similarly laying our own thoughts out bare that I sometimes wonder if most people even understand the meaning of privacy anymore.

Once you put something out there, even if you delete it, it’s never really gone. Now in part because the Library of Congress struck a deal with the San Francisco based company Twitter to add every tweet ever twitted to their archives for future generations to marvel over.

For some, posting an update of what they’re doing on Facebook or Twitter almost becomes a force of habit. I too have felt the compulsive twitching in my fingers to type out a quick ‘update’ to my ‘friends’ about how boring math class is.

It is not so much the ready availability of news that is the problem, it is the way it has inured us to going out, learning about and experiencing what’s happening on our own. Humans are social creatures who thrive on interaction with their fellow beings, so it is easy to understand the appeal of sites that allow one to connect with so many people at once from a phone or computer. But you miss out on so much of life when you let yourself be contented to read live updates of an event rather than go out and see it happen in person.

Molly Cahill is a senior pre-journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].