Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Just read a great article in Wired Magazine titled #Crowd Control. (Wasik 2012) It is about how social media fuels social unrest. It gives a timeline of the unrest that social media has caused in 2011. It covers how some 20,000 people gather for a “day of rage,” in Yemen to Athens Greece where up to 100,000 revolt against pay and pension cuts to how in Boston where a kid on Facebook invited and had hundreds of kids show up at a late-night beach party; forcing for a SWAT team to be called in.
The article lists 26 incidents that gathered people together throughout the world, for some cause good or bad, all who got the message from a social network or a SMS or email transmission.
I personally identify with the opening statement, “Why pack into Target when Amazon can speed the essentials of life to your door? Why approach strangers at parties or bars when dating sites like OKCupid … can more efficiently shuttle potential mates into your bed? Why sit in a cinema when you can stream? Why cram into arena seats when you can pay per view? We declare the obsolescence of ‘bricks and mortar,’ but let’s be honest: What we usually want to avoid is flesh and blood…”
I do not think I could have said it any better than that and that is exactly how I feel. Don’t get me wrong, I am the first one to want to have dinner and drinks with friends, but only with those friends that I have already met. I suppose I have enough friends already and really do not care who I meet at the supermarket. I have a 50” flat screen with surround sound, why would I go to the movies just to pay $14 for popcorn and a coke, let alone the price of the ticket when I can have Netflix stream directly to me. It saves me the hassle of walking on the sticky theater floor, sitting next to the people that do not stop talking and even better, when I want another Coca-Cola, I can pause, go to my frig and get one that cost me .42 cents at Costco.com.
Did the convenience of social networking cause me to have societal anxiety that I do not need to be around them? I doubt it is the cause, but it certainly showed me that there is a better way to buy everything from Mother’s Day presents to computers (as I type on my new Dell Alienware Aurora X79 with Dual Layer Blue-ray reader, dual 23” wide screen monitors and 2 TB RAID hard drive that I custom built online from Dell) to products from Walmart.com (even though Walmart is only 5 minutes away).
One of the best things is when I find a vendor out of state that offers free shipping and no sales tax! Maybe it’s just laziness, because I KNOW that Target would have a problem with me if I went in their store and shopped in my pajamas. My two cents again. – Chris.