“Two particles can become entangled so that they retain a connection even when separated over long distances. The properties between the two are correlated so that an action performed in one affect the other” [from LifeScience.com]
So this whole entanglement thing is really nothing new. Facebook merely puts the players on a different stage, enlarges the scope of visibility, and digitizes the components into bite size snapshots of random bits of our life.
Perhaps it comes from growing up in a small town where EVERYONE knows your business anyway, but I have really no problem with the intrusive aspect of Facebook. In a rural village unless you choose to become a recluse and rarely go out your door, it is well and goodly impossible to not have the whole town know everything about you. Some fool goes to the township office to get a marriage license, and the next day walking through the local grocery story, while cruising the cheese aisle, you hear … “did you hear that so and so is getting married?” And soon enough the whole village has an opinion.
I think this pervasive sense of privacy we seem to all crave is born from some misguided notion that we actually once HAD privacy. We have means now, yes, to spy on your every move. Cameras are everywhere – driving to work, stopping at the four-way stop, walking into a variety store, pumping gas, going through a red light. Cameras and digital images of us are scattered throughout millions of servers across the world. There are devices that allow law enforcement to remotely scan into wireless devices, and sometimes do not require a warrant because there are no laws governing much of this new technology. Every move you make on the internet is recorded and noted by some supercomputer, located god knows where.
And …NEWS FLASH …the genie ain’t going back in the bottle.
We are all entangled whether we want to be or not. In the case of Facebook, I think the good aspects in fact do outweigh the bad. When individuals can stay in touch with loved ones, chat easily and as frequently as they like, share family photos and funny stories or… whatever … you know that baby boomers are going to be ALL over that. Which of course is why the young people have migrated off in droves.
For me, it’s really also about access to information – I can get all my newsfeeds from Facebook, and I don’t care what god awful photos of me you care to post, just make sure ya’ll remember I am a photographer and a crafty silent one. Just sayin’. I don’t particularly do anything, nor say anything, nor LIKE anything, that is outrages or newsworthy. I’m fairly boring. Rather serious-minded.
The one component for me that is the most attractive with Facebook is that it helps me to connect in a way that has always been beyond my humble capabilities. I am an introvert, I was very shy in school. I still am reserved, and often self-conscious.
This is an evolving, changing world we inhabit and the reality is that the user will always control how the platform is utilized, and how this medium functions and fares is all in the hands of those of us who use it everyday.
Separated over long distances, those brief or extended entanglements we share are strong, and motivate the actions of many of us to connect in whichever way we can. We have become a distant people, where neighbours are strangers and loved ones are seen often only on special occasions. When children have a stronger relationship with their sports coach then their grandparents, it is time to realize that as flawed as Facebook may be, it still gives many the only option they have towards developing quality moments with the people they care about.
It is a double-edged sword, true, and it is a far cry from the town hall or community centre, and certainly no where near the community spirit of a church. However, for many, it is all they have. When many of our communities are now surrounded by asphalt and big box stores, and when many churches are going the way of the Dodo and community centres are empty and underfunded … how else are we to connect? We exist in a world filled with strange neighbors, and high fences that encase our private lives, with our DO NOT DISTURB signs and call display, we are a people who both reject one another, and yet crave that connection in the same breath.
What else out there, right now, has the ability to connect, share, laugh, learn and cringe at quite in the same way as Facebook? And all within the time it takes a ping of a digit to contact a server sitting thousands of miles away…we are in touch with someone we may have no other way to hug or check up on. It is like the wallet photo, letter and silly joke your Uncle Bob told, all rolled up into one place for whomever cares a wit.
Inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap
- Weird Quantum Entanglement Achieves New Record (livescience.com)