All the world’s a stage, and there’s no curtain any more…

December 21, 2008

This blog post illustrates exactly the kind of thing that happened with the Mumbai bombings and twitter, but right here in the US. A plane crash, not one that killed anyone (apparently, I haven’t seen the News yet) in Denver that was tweeted blow-by-blow.

Aside from the obvious implications for NASA and tweets from any kind of failure, especially a fatal or spectacular one, the tweets from the crash passenger also go into a little detail about how the passengers were treated after the event. This kind of thing may well transform the day to day attitude of every person everywhere from one of assumed anonymity to Show Time At All Times. The kind of life that regularly drives celebrities off their nuts and into rehab.

In the old days the Press simply didn’t write certain stories, so they say. Unless egregiously publicly displayed, the private lives of celebrities and politicians were left alone. This was possible because a small subset of people were doing the reporting, and their bosses could tell them what to do and their editors could refuse to print things.

How much will the New Media put all of us in the Celebrity Spotlight, at least within our circles of friends? How many people, having given offense, will find themselves ostracized before they have an opportunity to make amends? Will people who would normally know better take action on a distrubing tweet and beat the ever-living snot out of someone who (intentionally or not) slights a sister/brother/nephew/ex-girlfriend…

It may be no worse for most of us than suddenly finding we live in a Small Town instead of a city, and humans have been doing that for millennia. How this will tie into the cult of Individuality we live in is anybody’s guess. The optimist will say people will look to the Founding Fathers for their views on personal responsibility, courtesy and honor, and the pessimist will expect a knock-down, drag-out free for all where eyes are blacked and hearts are broken right and left until people work out a nearly common set of etiquettes for dealing with all this new information. I suspect I repeat myself…


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