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When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Internet Is Why We Can't Cure Cancer

I would just like to take this moment to reflect on the greatness of the human species.

Seriously, just sit up and give yourself a little pat on the back. Well done; and by the way, did you know you are only one of 9 species in the world that can do that*1?

I mean, let's face it; we're pretty awesome, no matter what you're religious/non-religious leanings. Creationist? Yep, we were hand-made by God himself in His image! Darwinist? Yep, we fought our way right to the top of the food chain against ridiculous odds! Science-Fictionist? Yep, we're the descendants of a super evolved alien race whose world got destroyed by a meteor*2! Scientologist? Yep, Tom Cruise = winning!*3

However, we're not all cut from the same cookie cutter. While man has always been rewarded for hard work and dedication, there are some who are unaware of this simple premise. No, this new generation is the instant-coffee generation, who believe that cappuccino grows in little sachets, along with tea and Milo. They believe Macaroni comes from Kraft, that text messages can be labelled as 'documentation', and that the 'work' in 'homework' is the exercise ones fingers get form copying and pasting text off Google.

So I supposed it should come as no surprise that the latest 'innovative' way to solve our problems and save the world is Facebook.

I'm sure all of you have noticed this by now; women posting bizarre status messages that have mild sexual connotations. This phenomenon was rampant on Facebook for a while before people realised that it was actually some secret 'code' spread among the womenfolk to create awareness for breast cancer.

Seriously. This is how we're going to beat breast cancer.

Not only are these messages mildly annoying, they serve absolutely no purpose at all. And it's not like they stopped there; no, now it's moved onto child abuse as well. Apparently by changing my profile picture to a cartoon I enjoyed as a child, I'm helping spread the message. Yes, nothing says "stop abusing children!" like a picture of Voltron or Cheetara.

"Save the children!"

"Yeah, save the children!!"

Clearly, something has gone wrong somewhere. With the vast array of technology now at our disposal, how is it that we can't come up with a more interesting and engaging campaign for such a serious issue? Is it true that Google and the internet have made us dumber? So much so that our creativity and vision is now limited to what we can 'share' on a social network?

Perhaps I'm making a big deal about nothing, but it's the small issues like this that are indicative of our broader thinking. I see similar trends in technology as well - nowadays everybody wants a smartphone, and there are a multitude to choose from. While there are Apple fans, and Android nerds, and Windows Phone 7 fans, somehow I still feel that innovation has come to a standstill. Phones keep upping their specs, putting more horsepower under their hoods than really trying to improve the user experience. Today it's a 4.2 inch 1Ghz phone, tomorrow it's 4.3 inches and 1.4GHz, then it's 4.6 inches and a dual-core 1.2GHz, and next month it'll be a 5.3 inch monster that is so big you can't really consider it a phone anymore. The same goes for computing; we design software and code that is so elaborate and inefficient we need mad systems to even run them (I'm looking at you, Rockstar and you're ridiculous GTA IV engine!).

True, these are just isolated incidents and yet I can't help but feel this is a trend that is prevalent in a lot more areas if we stop and look. Yes, we've made it this far, but it looks like unless we get back to the root thinking that got us here in the first place, we may not go much further.

*1 - Fake statistic. Sorry
*2 - Yes, I basically stole the plot from "Mission To Mars". Sue me.
*3 - This link is pretty much self-explanatory.


The Puppeteer said...

The worst (I'd blogged about it too) was the breast cancer awareness campaign in which women updated their statuses such as 'I like it on the desk' and 'I like it on the floor'.
Of course anyone reading that would think they mean sex BUT it was apparently where they like to leave their handbags after a night out.
Now how in the world does that relate to breast cancer?!

Angel said...

Totally agree with the above, the whole handbag thing was a prime example of idiocracy! How many of those girls actually took the time to find out about breast cancer and the early signs etc? Does anyone realise that we're having a mini epidemic in SL?

Gehan said...

Agreed, basically the 'campaign' if you can call it that lost its way down the line, and people started posting these messages without really knowing where it came from. Perhaps there's a serious disconnect between the people that use Facebook and the people on the ground that actually do things regarding issues that they care about. It's something to ponder on.

PP said...

i think it started out as something that was designed to attract the interest of the younger generation and get them involved in the awareness of the disease, but like most things, lost the plot along the way. the problem is also that people also mindlessly follow those silly instructions.

T said...

in all fairness, the breast cancer thing isn't the dumbest thing I've seen. At lease the motive was semi-apparent in that it was trying to get people who never got off facebook to think about cancer. The problem is that, like with so many other things, it gets taken over by idiots who don't actually care about the message, they just do it for the sake of it, and the movement loses the plot. the challenge now is how to address kids on facebook without dumbing down the message.

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