Are we really alone?

I’ve been thinking about this for awile and I finally decided to blog about.

Let’s think back for a minute, back to a time when there was no Twitter/Facebook/MySpace. No texting. No cell phones. No email. No webcams. No Internet! No modems. No call waiting. Nothing. Remember back then? When you picked up the phone and called your BFF and you got a busy signal you knew her sister or brother was actually on the phone talking to someone and it wasn’t being used by their dial-up internet. When we would sit on the phone for HOURS with our BFF and talk about nothing into the wee hours of the night. When we hung up that phone, we were alone in the blissful silence without the whirr of a computer under our hands.

Now, Big Brother is on every street corner and intersection, in WalMart and Target and convenience stores. Someone is always watching from that big black bowl in the ceiling. Now, we have Twitter where you can get instant updates of anyone, anytime and watch them Tweet about nothing or something. Even movie stars are getting in on the Twitter action, but really – do we care? I’m sitting here wondering what it would be like to unplug for a week. I think I might go mad.

Now we have Facebook where everytime we update our status, people all over FB know about it. Now we have MySpace where people can be incognito and prey on the weak. We can share photos of our kids and our summer vacations, Christmas holidays with people we haven’t spoken to in months maybe years. Where communication is the written kind being transmitted through a phone line or a fiber optic line or at T1.

And I haven’t even mentioned blogging. How we can open up a browser and read the thoughts of other folks we know. I have some great friends I’ve known for years, but I’ve never met them face to face. Maybe I will someday. Maybe I won’t.

It’s really kind of disturbing, don’t you think? How we’ve become this plugged in society where we “know” people but don’t really know them. I could walk down the street next to someone I’ve talked to for years via the internet and never know what they looked like, how they sounded, what they wore that day. And when we don’t hear from our friends via email in a day or so, we actually get worried that something might have happened to them. When the case is probably more that they’re just not checking their email.

Here’s an idea. Instead of sending that email, pick up the phone and call someone to talk to them. Or, even, handwrite a letter and actually – God forbid – mail it through the US Postal Service.

So I wonder… are we really “alone” in this world anymore? Is there any amount of privacy? Or are the lines so blurred and so thin they’re nearly nonexistent? How much Big Brother do we really need? And when does it cross the line as invasion of privacy?

By Michelle

I wish you all could be inside my head. The conversation is sparkling.