ConnectionToday I enjoyed a thought provoking conversation concerning the overwhelming amount of information that one is required to engage with in our world today. I don’t think I need to make a case for what certainly is a reality experienced by most. Not being connected today is as rare as an anartic heatwave. But there is a distiction between information and connection; between information and conversation.
We in have championed blogging. Rightly so. The potential value of blogging is awesome but there are also some dangers, dangers that perhaps are not yet self-evident as the ‘blog at all costs’ sweeps into vogue. Let me mull over a few dangers that are becoming more obvious to me.
Information out of context is problematic, even dangerous. Often (but not always) super-highways of information (like blogs) don’t or can’t provide context.

Blogs that don’t connect become more noise in an already noisy system. And here of course you may well afford an ironic smile that would not be out of place as you read this blog! In reviewing the many blogs in ‘our system’ at least, not many have generated conversation – most have supplied information. Of course paradoxically, the ‘conversational’ value of a blog can only be determined with hindsight.
Linked to this point is that it is interesting to note that some blog but seldom engage / comment (on other blogs) – and I could well be one such person! Point is, could blogging without engagement be a form of Information age diarrhea rather than a Connection age relating? Responding to what amounts to ‘mini-articles’ or expert ‘editorial’ comment is different from responding to an invitation to converse between peers. Or is it?
The pace of it all can mean that certain things that need time to stew aren’t afforded the time to do so. As a friend said, ” it is like only ever drinking grape juice instead of wine” (which needs time to ferment).
I also wonder what will be the reaction to the information overload. Obviously things cannot ‘go back to the way they were’ nor should they. But, that doesn’t mean that what we currently have is better. The challenge is how to ensure that what we have takes us to where we want to be. Could it be that the sages, the ‘wise ones’ today will be those who are able to hold to enduring values (whatever those are) and point us to or take us to that place which is threatened by ‘our advances’.
I suspect that this goes beyond a generational debate as it does a technological one. Something deeper is going on here and I am not altogether certain of what that is. All I know that in my experience much of what has come to me through blogging has not enriched, in fact it has added to the clutter. I also know that somehow to ignore the opportunity this technology provides is crazy. Perhaps it is just that we haven’t yet learnt how best to use it and so aren’t fully aware of the full potentail for both the good and the bad.
So perhaps the issue here is not blogging. After all here I am blogging! The issue (and my concern) is the purpose and use of this excellent technology that allows for conversations in a networked world. Perhaps this is all much ado about nothing but I do wonder who else ‘out there’ feels as I do. One commitment I have when blogging is to do so as ‘open ended’ as is possible. To leave space for conversation rather than adding information.
Anyone up for a conversation?

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