While reading the first chapter of Shirky’s text, Here Comes Everybody, I was struck by several things. The first, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily readable this book is and interesting. The next thing that popped into my head is that we really are becoming a global village. Can you imagine that story about the lost phone from Ivanna’s perspective? How interesting would it be to watch a story unfold around you like that and be one of the millions of people watching rather than really having anything to do with it?
My question is whether or not this global village is a good thing. For me it triggers thoughts of what life was like for women in the pioneer days. They would be secluded from pretty much the entire world, all day every day while the children went to school and men went to work. Even if they were lucky enough to have a daughter to stay and help them, that daughter is still not the same a friend or social interaction. Many of those women literary lost their minds from lack of human interaction and those that did not generally were depressed. This is just food for thought, but what if those women had had Facebook? That sounds stupid, but really? If Margret could have chatted Betty three farms and 30 miles over after her husband was out until way passed dark and didn’t feel like talking about his day maybe she would not have gone and jumped into the river that caught her up in the current. This is essentially what Shirky talks about with the human need for interaction. People can’t live without it so over long periods of time we have figured out how to engrain it into every part of the busy lives we have created. Now we have the ability to spend five minutes (or hours) on Facebook and then move on with our day feeling as if we had interaction. It is still not the same as talking to someone but it certainly beats hanging out in the cabin all day while John works the fields and Peggy and John Jr. run off to get learned.