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9.24.2013

SYSTEM OVERLOAD

We live in an information overload society.  Bombarded on every side by constant noise, media, technology, apps, emails, texts, tweets, Instagram, games, RSS feeds, even fantasy sports teams.  We are onslaughted daily with stuff to inform, educate, shock, entertain, and notify. 

Its original intent was probably not chaos, a constant cacophony of stimulation, but more likely a quest for simplicity or easy accessibility to things that used to be done the long way, the hard way, the more involved way.  The by-product of that is we are all very, very connected and over stimulated as a culture as well.  That blurs the line at times of over indulgence of information, breaches of privacy, and divulgence of intimate things.  It erases the line of modesty and sometimes morality crossing at the every least into TMI [too much information].  It creates this weird mix of reality and non-reality that is hard to separate.  It has eliminated barriers, some of which I think are good to have.

I wondered the past few days about what that type of wide open over stimulated culture does to the ways in which we communicate with other people in non-computer, non-technology sorts of ways.  Does that constant shelling to our neurons and systems with information have anything to do with what people share easily with others now?  Is this just a Nancy thing that people, perfect strangers, will tell things to with no regard to their audience or relationship to them?  I'm not so sure it is.

People do tell me the damnedest things.  This week I started thinking maybe it goes beyond the fact that I give people a sort of unspoken permission to let down, to be themselves.  Maybe, on top of the Nancy phenomena, there is a cultural connection here.  This freedom of information has led most people to be more free in their speech.

Today I thought about everything, sort of personal or off color things, that people [people I do not have a relationship with ] have told me in the past few days. I decided to write a few of them down . . .

Darling, I still have something hard on me. [ew! A stranger's response to my comment that notarizing a document and helping him understand the paperwork wasn't hard.]
 
I didn't want her to have chemo, but I never told her that.
 
It would appear I am holding you hostage, but I never have anyone to show these things to.
 
I didn't want to go out with a woman after my wife of 51 years died.  It felt like
I was betraying her.
 
I lost my 22 year old son and had to move because there were just too many
triggers to stay there.
 
At 77 years of age I thought we were getting along great going to dinner from time to time, till I went to her house.  It was the best night of my life in more ways than one.  She broke up with me the next day.
 
My bowel was obstructed.  I was in the hospital 7 days, 5 of which
were in intensive care.
 
I rode my bike down the hill and it was a thrill.  Getting back up
tore me up though.
 
I used to weigh 103 pounds but have had to take prednisone for the past
40 years.  I used to be skinny like you.
 
When I was a young man she was my lover.
 
I look far older than my 68 years.
 
I didn't have the courage or the means to get a divorce even though
my husband of 30 years was abusive until I knew my kids were all ok in life.
 
I know you can't tell now at 74 years old, but I did TV commercials when I was young.
 
I lost my wife to cancer after 37 years.  She was the love of my life.
 
I never knew how spoiled I was with my husband until he was gone.
 
I was a hippie once.  It was the 60's and life was a big joint.


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