Saturday, April 02, 2005

Having a Longing Feeling?

We’re all familiar with the internet, aren’t we? I know that if I wasn’t it would be really hard for me to do this assignment. Since I, like millions- Maybe even billions of others. - are familiar with the internet, I don’t have to worry about being familiar with it. Like a good friend, the internet is always there. It provides an outlet for any feeling one might have at any given time. Disagree with a popular figure’s stance on something? Go post a rebuttal on a message board or on your very own website or blog. Have a spare minute or two? Hop on line to chat with friends- Some you’ve met in person and others who may live many miles from your own home- or play a game. Have homework? The odds are good you’ll find the answer to your homework questions on-line someplace.

Despite having all these uses, has anyone ever stopped to think what the World Wide Web is really for? Can one put into perspective the gigantic entity that is the internet into proper scope? Is that task even possible given the amount of information stored on the infamous “information superhighway?”

Ours is a managed world, according to David Weinberger, one of the authors of the cluetrain manifesto. Everything in our day to day lives must be managed in order for us to see it as good. Things that are not managed, like riots and cancer , are deemed as being bad things. Not that cancer is a really good thing to begin with but I’m digressing. Living in an ultra managed world provides us with a bevy of “good things.” By living in the managed world we avoid risks that could endanger our lives and make the world we live in a much smoother place.

Living in the ultra managed world does have some disadvantages, though. I agree with Weinberger when he claims that living in the ultra managed world creates the mandatory entity known as “professionalism” in the workplace. Though it does not create the strict Catholic school dress code some of us (myself included) grew up with, it does create a sort of standard that everyone must abide by. People are only allowed so much in the way of self-expression. That it, a person can say and do and act and dress as they please so long as they’re not offending anyone else in the process. Standards must be kept up in order to maintain the ultra managed world.

There are some who say that being a student is just like holding a job. Using that analogy, Marymount becomes my work place. Like any good workplace, Marymount has its code of professionalism. We’re free to do what we want when we want how we want so long as it is within the limits of reason. We shy away from topics that might offend others around us when we talk and we try to act like good little workers in class. We take notes on lectures, homework gets done, and the world is at peace.

Contrasting this, like the internet contrasts the workplace, is the world we create in our blogs. Here we can say what we want and fear no repercussions. At least, nothing as terrible as someone’s negative comments. Then again, does that matter because this person is most likely someone we’re never going to have to see again? It gives us a chance to make use of out professionally silenced voices and allows us to let our all important opinions be heard.

Maybe that’s the elusive purpose of the internet? To give voice to the millions that have been silenced by the workplace and the world of professionalism. It is the place where opinions can be stated and shared, traded like so many trading cards. It is true that the opinions some express may be wrong in some way, tainted and negative by their life’s experiences but they, too, are allowed to speak their virtual minds. After all, everyone has the right to free speech!

Want to hear more? Take a look at Jill's Blog . A girl with a job, she talks about how she can sympathize with the situations set forth in the section mentioned above. For a different opinion, take a look at what Alexis has to say. Her opinon is very different from that of our friend Jill.

""What you fail to understand in your joyless myopia, is that baseball is the key to life — the Rosetta Stone, if you will." (Arthur Dales)

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