Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the hearing of loss

i was going to start this blog with an excerpt of a conversation i had with one of the most important people in my world.
and then i stopped myself, for even though a blog is an excellent outlet and a great tool to get over the fear of writing and more importantly the fear of being judged, some things should remain sacred.
define boundaries. 
tonight i realized the dangers a blog presents and why diaries remain so popular. 
i keep a diary, though it tends to just churn whatever feelings i am trying to express right back into my head, spilling them out onto another blank piece of paper only to have it seep right back in through my fingertips.
wash, rinse, repeat. 
four executives in their early forties stood near my desk at work and condemned "internet social networking."
"i just don't get it."
"its this generation's way of maintaining friendships without maintaining it at all."
"how are those friendships?"
shitty friendships exist everywhere. and everyone has that one friend that you don't really care for anymore but can never seem to shed.
what i find that these four executives fail to discuss is whether a generation defines the times or the times define a generation?
we raise this generation in the womb of a bustling technology movement and then shun them 
when it becomes an acceptable form of communication.
two assistants in their mid twenties sit around a communal kitchen table and discuss facebook, myspace, blogging, im, craigslist, email...
"just because i send a message to an old friend on facebook doesn't mean they're not really my friend. i mean, shit, how many times a year do people actually pick up the phone and call that old college roommate?"
"yeah, i mean, its part of our culture...as a generation."
what i find these two assistants fail to discuss is whether a generation defines the culture or a culture defines the generation. 
i go with the former. true culture cannot exist without sophistication and in order to create sophistication one must draw rules, maybe even unspoken rules, that design the culture.
it is our responsibility as a generation, a fortunate generation with an abundant amount of freedom, to draw those rules in a time when personal freedom is the ultimate goal.
it is our responsibility to define what is sacred and what is public.
it is our responsibility to create a code of ethics, but one we can actually follow and not just post on a blog as the daily diatribe.
without holding ourselves to a higher stander, all we have is narcissism on a united front; a glorified generational conceit with no purpose of bettering the world and certainly no focus on bettering ourselves.
all we are is a recycled ennui with the world at our feet, but no tools to help us navigate.
define existentialism.
"the internet is ruining our culture," he tells me.
ah...the hearing of loss...
"not ruining, its redefining it, but its up to the people to shape it."
define idealism.
"where do we start?"
when we sacrifice a two minute mildly interesting blog for the privacy of a potentially personal moment or anecdote shared with someone we love, the world becomes a better place and more importantly we become a part of it again. 
and when we approach the world with the perspective of someone sharing as opposed to someone deserving, or someone sacrificing as opposed to someone taking, we create a culture that stems from a place of respect, selflessness, and love.
And what could be more powerful than that?

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