In recent times, many schools of thought have emerged in relation to the Internet’s potency as a force for change.
Notably among these are the rather thread-bare dichotomies: is the Internet the new canvas for a more vibrant global democracy or is it just another plaything for the I-type-therefore-I-am existentialism that seems endemic in the generation of endless cyber-gibberish?
Well, on a social level it’s true to say that – like a bunch of small, errant and sniggering schoolchildren – we have managed to plaster the Internet with pictures of bare ladies/men rather than using it as the ultimate tool for human advancement that it potentially is.
It seems we have forgotten all about the Internet’s power and it has just become another plaything.
And a very dangerous plaything it is, too.
For example, here in the real world of business, people sign up to extremely potent business networking communities such as LinkedIn, or business/social networks such as Plaxo or Twitter, primarily to stay connected and keep an eye on business.
Then, because it looks like any other plaything, they forget its potency and reach, and start telling it that they are flying to Birmingham on Wednesday or Paris on Friday or have some other irrelevant travel itinerary in mind.
Or they witter (or Twitter) on endlessly about attending some arcane, esoteric online event that really has little or no relevance to anyone else that they know.
Or even – yes really – wax lyrical about the beautiful coffee aroma drifting into their office from the deli at street level.
And everyone – everyone they know and are connected to – has to listen to this.
So what does this do to their credibility? Well, very little: anecdotally it seems the victims of all this irrelevant static switch off and pull the plug on the purveyors of this growing wave of vacuous gibberish.
And that’s a pretty lonely, isolated and dangerous place to be if you need to stay connected to your business community via these networks.
So, maybe the Internet plays both ways in this dichotomy: it is a plaything for those who are unable (or unwilling) to understand how self-obsessed, inane existentialism is an annoying irrelevance to others.
And it becomes that new canvas for a more vibrant global democracy when everyone else switches off and pulls the plug leaving the existentialists and ego-centrics alone, in a vacuum.
So, there is an important lesson here: if you have nothing of interest to say to your connections in your community – don’t bore them – dare to keep quiet until you have. Otherwise Internet democracy may take a stand, and the masses will tune you out.