Social Networks and 9/11

It has been ten years. Ten years since those planes hit those towers and the world shook. An administration focused on education and taxes reluctantly became one of war and national sercurity. Firemen and police officers became titans of courage and sacrifice and for a few days America was silent. However, the brain and soul are amazing. We were able to push past the hurt and terror and live. Now ten years have passed by and many things have changed. One big one is the idea of social networks. Back in 2001 the Internet was mostly used for people to slack off and look at porn. Now it has become something differnt: a place where people can slack off and look at what their friends are doing. Social networking has fused with our lives. Everything we do, say, or think can be instantly uploaded into cyberspace where our friends can comment on our lives in process. There is something so surreal about it, if you take a step back.

Now you may be asking yourself “What is this rambling nonsense,” but let me explain. The news channel I was watching played a taped message from a man trapped in the tower as it was falling. As I was listening to a phone call I wondered what it would be like if, in 2001, Facebook and Twitter were as ubiquitous as they are now. If people who were inside these crumbling infernos would pull out their phones and tweet their final goodbyes. Empassioned last words to their followers with morbid #hashtags. Being able to read the comments from people as the walls collaped around them. Families being able to give final remarks of love through a silly app on a phone. What started as a silly little thought became something that honestly made me think of the positive aspects of social networking.

I love Facebook and Twitter, mostly because I am closeted egomaniac, but I do think of them as huge time wasters. Very few parts of them seem worthwhile to me. They actually, in my opinion, hamper actual socializing. “Hey did you see this link on so & so’s page?” is not good conversation, no matter who you are. But imagining them in a situation like this seemed to make a lot of sense. Being able to be connected to people everywhere is actually amazing and I would wager that any of those who lost loved ones ten years ago would have given anything to send them a final farewell before they passed away.

So to those like me who see social networks as silly little time sinks, look again. They have become a thread that connects almost everyone on the planet. An invisible line that can be traced along billions of people that ties everyone together. It is a tangible example of the interconnetivity of our world and how flattened world has become. I can see a day where this electronic facsimile is replaced with a sense of unity to one another. Not based on nation or faith, but on the basis of humanity. A united sense of being that would make events and attacks like those that happened ten years ago seem impossible and crude.

It is a hippie pipe dream mostly, but it could happen.

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