Recently a friend of mine found out that he had broken up with his girlfriend of 7 years when he woke up one morning to find out that her relationship status had been changed from “in a relationship” to “single”. This lead him to write a really interesting blog post on the state of technology and humanity. What follows is my response (apparently blogspot doesn’t like long meandering, over 4,000 word comments!!!)

In the past people had religion to crap on people from on high:

– Oh, well, the priest said it would be grand to shite on that guy for not quite conforming to the moral stereotype that the church demands. Let’s stone the fucker!”
– Wait, guys, hold on a sec now… perhaps we should think ourselves before we…
– Sorry, what did you say Josh? I’m a little busy stoning this fucker here. Here, you should join in, it feels perfectly awesome now that God himself gave us personal permission to do what we want.

Nowadays we have the innanets.

* * * * *

I wish they could invent a way to cloud-source your pain.I wish there were some way that if someone I knew were feeling down about something, had been dumped badly or had someone close to them die, that they could cloud-source their pain out to friends on the internet. Everyone would get a little bit of pain, feel a little bit shitty. Everyone would probably sit a little bit in front of the telly, watching mediocre television, wondering why the fuck life dealt them a “yeah, it’s grand, but it’s not great” hand, everyone would go around looking at people who were only a little bit luckier than them with a mild dislike. But most importantly the burden of pain could be shared, and not just lumped on one person.

* * * * *

Last year some time these guys in a company in Ireland decided that it would be funny to rate all the new girls; y’know, ass, tits, oh yeah would she be good in bed. They correlated their findings in an email which was only meant for their eyes only.

Of course, idiot douchebags that they were, the email got out and there was public indignation. The email went immediately viral, being forwarded and spread around the company and then the country. Finally the newspapers, struggling to keep up with the way in which they dealt with the power of the internet, decided to publish the entire list of girls and which ones had nice ass and tits and good in bed, saying that “the information was out there anyway.”

Watching this “scandal” evolve on Twitter the next step was the public indignation against the idiot guys who wrote this email, the castigation and vitriol leveled against them. Someone decided that it would be perfectly unhypocritical to release all of the information about the guys who had done this, Facebook names, Twitter accounts, home addresses. The pitchforks came out and the guys ended up having to go into hiding. Noone stopped to think about whether they had ever sinned before they cast their stones.

– Well, what about the time that you emailed me and Stu to say that Mary in accounting is a fucking whorebag who gobbled cocks for a living?
– Oh, well, that was different.
– Ah, why?
– Cause she gave out to me for eating a chocolate bar at my desk and she actually is a whorebag who gobbled cocks for living.
– Oh? And Lucy Lawless who just started on 1 doesn’t have an ass that looks like two perfectly shaped plums placed under a medium strength vice?
– Oh, I’m sorry, are you still talking? I was too busy trying to friend this guy on Facebook just so that I could send him vitriolic messages. He doesn’t seem to want to accept it. GOD! What fucking ignorant pricks these guys are!

I guess what I’m trying to say, in my “jaysus, would he ever get to the fucking point” kind of way, is that technology has given some people a way to channel their antisocial ways, to channel their assholish natures and all of their bad nature.

But it has also given other antisocial people a chance to channel what little social skills they have, to talk to friends all over the world, to meet a myriad of interesting people and have a myriad of interesting people meet them too. To connect to things, places, people, that they would never have connected to in the past, and to have the support there from those people when they need it and deserve it.

Technology is the reason that I met you and Sean, that I was in LA to meet you guys in the first place, and is the reason why I still keep in touch (no offense but we were never going to be life pen pals)

* * * * *

I never feel as helpless as when a friend of mine is in pain. The conversation with myself tends to run a little bit like this:
– God, I wish I could help, I feel so shit that I can’t help.
– Well… obviously not as shit as he does.
– Ahm… no, obviously not as shit as he does. But I feel really helpless.
– Yeah, but not as helpless as he feels.
– Ahm, well, that’s true. Not as helpless as him. I guess I just want to tell him that I understand what he’s going through, that it’ll be OK. Not now. Not for a while, maybe, but it’ll get better eventually.
– Yeah, but you can’t really tell him that because you’re NOT experiencing what he’s experiencing right now. You’re NOT going through what he’s going through.
– …that’s true.

And so all I can really hope to do in these situations (at least until cloud sourcing pain becomes an option) is be a friend, be there to support and help in whatever way I can, and hope that at some point it gets a bit better and then, some point after that, a bit better again.

Feel better soon, dude.

“Technology hasn’t made dicks out of people. People have made a dick out of technology” – Shane Woods (just now)