I saw a Google Chrome commercial twice tonight that struck a chord with me. The extended version, embedded below, has been online since May.
On the one hand, it’s a slick ad for a search engine giant’s Web browser that features a glowing treatment of a megacelebrity and her happy fans.
On the other, it’s a view into a changed world that still feels very much of the moment, months after its debut. It reminded me that the Internet has fundamentally changed how we can directly connect with the people who inspire us and on another.
There’s something both deeply joyful and poignant seeing Lady Gaga’s fans dance and sing along with her to that particular song.
On a night where I also saw so much pain, anger, fear, cruelty and misunderstanding flow over the same global electronic network of networks, it felt good to be reminded of how much more connected we can be. If we choose, we can reach out and connect to hundreds of other millions of humans, who are both different and fundamentally the same, looking at a growing mobile Web of billions of screens, small, medium and large.
We can see, share and celebrate the best of human nature in real-time or mourn, censor and condemn that which is worst in us. We go online and find ourselves, for good or ill, and leave a Web that is what we make of it.
Every time we log on, we have an opportunity to change how we think or connect with someone else around this pale blue dot.
Thank you for sharing that journey and teaching me something new, every day.
4 responses to “The Web is what we make of it”
As a comment on the penultimate paragraph, agreed, in principle. Collectively, we are able to communicate (for good or ill) with more people more immediately than ever before. We are also (for good or ill) providers of information, opinion and out-and-out caca for what were once known as spiders, which were automatons launched by researching sites to gather web links for cross-referencing – the precursors (or perhaps the instigators) of google, ask, yahoo, and other search engines. Now that we are closer to intelligent online agents, the internet itself is become an emergent agent, independent (more or less, currently) of human intervention.
There are already intelligent agents monitoring stock trading, and offering nearly real-time advice to markets on what is moving in whatever direction. There are also intelligence agencies which can (at some level) monitor discussions on line for content and/or context triggers to help them at least isolate potential hotspots and ‘persons of interest’.
Yes, at the day-to-day level, it is what we make of it. Job searches, personal networking, social incentives and agendas, all wonderful. I participate myself within the civil liberties context. However, we also must be aware that ‘what we make of it’ has to be progressive – it has to further and improve the human condition in the physical as well as the aetherial lives that many of us lead.
Thank you! I hadn’t seen that ad and watched it twice through.
We’re all alone, until we connect. We’re all rare, until we find each other. And so often it happens online.
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