We live in a media world. Everyone is a voyeur – by chance and by invitation. We have reality TV that is anything but real and evening news that reports the party line; we twitter and we digg; we post on Facebook and get LinkedIn; we are patted down at airport and scanned at traffic lights; our cell phones take pictures, answer questions and store information in clouds.
We can talk to anybody in the world while we brush our teeth, buy our groceries, drive our car or walk in the woods. In the checkout lane tabloids show us pictures of the glossy people and tell us how they are in/out/in rehab, in/out/in love, in/out/in fashion and tell us how we can be glossy too. Our children grow fat playing video games while our parents browse dating sites and dream of better days ahead.
We have Homeland Security, Airport Security, Social Security, security systems, and planned communities with high gates – for we must avoid risk at all costs. We chip our animals in case they get lost and then consider chipping our forgetful elders and careless children for reasons of safety. Just in case we forget where we are or where we’re going we put satellites in the sky and GPS in our cars and phones.
The computer has replaced the speaker, the book, the radio and the television as the tool of choice for communication. We sit at our desktops and laptops and i-pads and keep in touch, keep in tune, keep in step while our lattes cool and posts are read.
Just as the printing press revolutionized society, the computer is revolutionizing consciousness. It has given us the tools to reach out and link up. But we sit in silence, we sit apart, we sit in a world of our own making. We have video conferences and distance learning. We do not meet face to face except through Skype. We do not touch except in passing.
While we have never been more connected, we have never felt more alone. We are becoming a living network, each of us a minute brain cell in an electromagnetic grid embracing the living body of Earth. When we are all connected, will the cosmic neural network be complete? Will a bolt of light jump the synapse and open a portal to eternity? As one will we at last be One? Will we finally be connected to ourselves?