Posts Tagged ‘American Airlines’

Whether Good or Bad or Ugly

March 9, 2012 7 comments


Everyone knows how the internet has changed the American scene, as well as that of the rest of the world.

Students aren’t at the mercy of expensive literary searches at university anymore. Research is finished in half the time and is a more efficiently selective process. High school students can reap major rewards by having so much more educational information at their fingertips than ever before.

At the same time, the average person has the ability and wherewithal to generate blogs about nearly every subject known to man.

The Good

There are people with agendas out there, and there are lovely people who’re just trying to make it from day to day, surviving the onslaught of the modern age. And within all of these people there seems to be a surging desire to communicate with others about their lives, their ideas, and their aspirations.

A wife and mother can talk about her day and her frustrations with thousands of other moms around the world and gain solace in the knowledge that she’s not alone.

Kids can vent about how angst-filled their lives are, connecting with others who also feel the need to rip everyone around them. They can also find help and counseling online that they can’t find at home for various reasons.

And while all that “help” goes on, others are providing the stimulus for some already in-crisis kids to end their existence rather than face another day in the trenches.

The Bad/Down Side

The debate rages about limits on personal exposure and personal privacy. Entire volumes have appeared on all of these topics, both online and off. Writers don’t have to go any further than their desk to have enough material to span their lifetimes. Some of it is well-done, some dreadful, but always having a point.

As a writer, I watch news feeds each day, looking for tidbits to use for stories, articles, exploration, etc. Each day I shake my head in wonderment as I peruse the latest and greatest in the world of news. I wonder if everyone has gone totally insane, considering episodes like the one on the American Airlines flight this morning from Dallas to Chicago.

Soon I come to another story about a car costing nearly $300,000 that visited Harry Potter’s world and came away with his invisibility cloak. Yes, an invisible car is cool. We’ve had those kinds of military planes for a long time, but why would a person need one? The price tag along would make the car for the wealthy only. Do those going without adequate food on the table need another reason to resent those who’re living large?

There was the one about Coke and Pepsi changing their recipes to eliminate a particular chemical. I ask myself how long they’ve known about potential problems with that chemical and why they waited for a whistle-blower to press the issue.

We are bombarded with news 24/7 on CNN and other broadcast networks. We can’t escape from it, what with all the apps for phones now and hand-held computers. Dick Tracy watches/communicators are already on the market. How much more news do we need to fill our lives to overflowing?

The Ugly

Whether that freedom for expression is good or evil really doesn’t come into question. No one can ever designate a freedom as good or evil. After all, the freedom, whatever its focus, is only a concept, an abstract.

People are the doers of good or evil. The intent of the person expressing the freedom is at issue, not the concept. That reality keeps falling through the cracks in this online world we live in today.

We can question people’s motives and actions from noon to midnight, never coming away with firm answers. The government can call actions into question and try to regulate basic freedoms with legislation that costs millions to create. In the end, though, the same problems continue as before.

One of my questions of the day is whether those in governments will ever understand that the individual citizen will always define his/her own freedoms within much broader mandates than those handed down by legislators of any kind.

History is filled with references to the causes and effects of civil unrest and revolutions, many of them having to do with squashed freedoms. Historians have written millions of volumes about events in the world and in time. Are we doomed to repeat critical events because we are so arrogant as to believe that we’re immune to them? Or, are we so dense that we can’t imagine them repeating, even when we’ve been warned about such repetitions.

The continual presence of the Internet and its sister technologies won’t go quietly into that good night. Online latitudes will push legislative buttons and government officials to a potential breaking point. The nebulous quality that rules the technology can only fuel the fire.

History teaches that major changes in technology almost always presage a major upheaval in the social structure and tends to focus its energy into violent conflict.

Question for the reader:

Is it important to pay attention to the trends social use of the internet, and if so, how much is too much regulation?

Tell me what you think.