Virtual Network City with a Future: Meet Me at MySpace, or I’ll Beat Your Facebook
When pondering the Pro’s and Con’s of the 2.0 generation, it must not be forgotten the unfathomable depth at which we can now interact with our common folk and possibly have the chance to express our most endearing feelings, opinions, thoughts and ideas in many forums full of “friends”. On the other side of this mystic, yet I like to think utilitarian spectrum; crime, deception, and fraud do play a big part in the corruption of some, but not all.
When first discovering places like Facebook or any forum in which one can finally find that 10th grade best friend or freshman sweetheart they have been wondering about for the past 15-20 years, emotions rush through the body causing all sorts of “so much catching up to do”, for example (if I may quote myself somewhat recently on Facebook, in a comment to all)
“I just basically want to say to EVERYONE, there comes a few times in our lives that we get to sit back and think about our memories that most just take for granted. Though miles and metaphorically years apart, I sit here virtually teary-eyed thinking about each and every one you and how truly, truly blessed I feel to have this chance now, in this day and age, to be able to see you all and know how you’re all doing. Our grandparents and parents never had this chance, ya’ know in the past until now, to see elementary through high school friends and neighborhood buddies and distant cousins and relatives in these types of conveniently crafted forums. In the past we find ourselves just wondering about now and then. Frankly lately, between kids, school and business, being on the computer practically 18 hours a day, I still don’t have the chance to stop and chat with everyone, yet. But surely know that in my heart, I have very fond memories of each and every one of you. I want to find more “distant, past acquaintances” out there, wherever and truly understand that I have learned you can never fail, no matter what is going on or has happened in your life, by reaching for the stars; because/therefore even landing on the moon can’t be/isn’t all that bad. Thanks you guys.” Days later from someone very special to my heart:
“Hi Shaun, I have been looking over your page on Facebook. Hope everything is getting better for you. I would love to hear from you via email once in a while. You are in my thoughts. God bless. Love you much. Grandma.”
I can barely keep it back right this moment. How are things like that, not the most beautiful things in the world? All the hackers, viruses and phishing in the world can’t even remotely touch that kind of inner-feeling beauty and how absolutely special that “connecting” touches my soul. Which, in turn leads to 24 hours after I write this paper, getting in my Pathfinder (how fitting is that?) and trekking my way to “home away from home” to Upstate New York to a Family Reunion and a non-conventional Class Reunion, the trip of “nostalgia” being both for business and pleasure, my parents being already on their way. Life with interactive Internet, in fact, is well-rounded and very grand, for lack of better phrasing.
On the other hand, my son who just turned 13 today, has been up there with his mother for the summer, is getting picked up to be brought back home. He has his own MySpace page as a 16 year old, so he can communicate with his friends and cousins. Don’t get me wrong, there are bitter-sweet feelings that I have towards it, but a good parent keeps a close eye on what is going on no matter what, as quoted by Brent Staples in an article entitled “What Adolescents Miss When We Let Them Grow Up In Cyberspace”, concerning boy-girl relationships before the dawn of this universally global interactive entity, with a little role reversal. “He retired to the den during the visit, but cruised by the living room now and then to let me know he was watching” (349). Any parent who isn’t totally wrapped up in their own little world, will and should be concerned with “men posing as women online, cyber-stalking, identity theft and dangerous cyber-addiction” (343) as stated by Barry Wellman in an article he had written entitled “Connecting Communities: On and Offline”; which leads me to disagree with Mr. “All-Knowing” computer scientist John Messerly in the same paragraph “computer and video games… ruin the social and scholastic lives of many students (343). I call “bulls*it”. It is a tried and tested fact that in most children, as I’ve witnessed, a good parent who’s had counseling from other, more “social” professionals, you can use video games as leverage to boost homework production and create a “circle of friends” among the child’s peers, who very much love to come over to the house to play the latest NCAA Basketball or latest Adventure game. Shoot, I enjoy it myself.
In conclusion my dear, sweet Department of English, the Information Age is upon us and it is fact that “IT” is spinning into an even greater existence into the future. If I may now quote the timeless morals of the Boy Scouts of America, with ethics that stand firm in a concreted foundation. A good human being, despite the minute negativity that the Internet may bring, must never forget the teachings that mold us into who we are and how we care about the future of our children, our lost but now found friends, and ourselves. “On my Honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times and to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Other than the Lord’s Prayer, these are words to live by that we can never go wrong, and that’s as deep as it gets, my friends.
Staples, Brent. “What Adolescents Miss When We Let Them Grow Up in
Cyberspace.” The Blair Reader Exploring Contemporary
Issues. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner, Stephen R. Mandell. – 6th ed.
Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2008. 349 – 351.
Wellman, Barry. “Connecting Communities: On and Offline.” The Blair Reader
Exploring Contemporary Issues. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner, Stephen R.
Mandell. – 6th ed. Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2008. 341 -348.
***No Works Cited for Boy Scouts of America Handbook. I don’t believe you can plagiarize something that’s been implanted in your brain hard-wiring for 25+ years.
***”City with a Future” used to be the slogan on the entrance signs in Fulton, NY, where I’m originally from north of Syracuse, it’s been an inside joke to us natives for years.