Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Techno Bubble

That's Bubble, not babble.

I’ve come to the conclusion we live in a bubble. No, actually we all live in separate bubbles. Like that old movie, we seal ourselves off from each other using keyboards and display screens, not transparent plastic, but it amounts to the same thing. I’ve heard recently that when an editor/agent gets a manuscript the first thing they do is Google the author. If you don’t have a FaceBook page, Twitter followers and a LinkedIn network, you don’t really exist, and your credibility goes down the, uh, garderobe.

Forget a website, that’s way past passé.

Here’s the trouble. Just as identity theft can leave you destitute and devastated, identity augmentation (kinda like botox for your personality) can con you into believing Joe Schmo walks on water. That con does exist on the Internet, just go to any on-line dating service. You can make stuff up, reinvent yourself, create credentials and awards then create the institutions that gave you those credentials and awards, all without leaving your house, or even getting dressed. All it takes is one of those keyboard/screen thingies everyone seems to have, and a little tech savvy. Actually, you can copy everything you need to do this right from the Internet itself. Find a small college, copy their web site, change the name, move some pictures around, (you can get those from the internet too) and publish it as the web site of Joeschmo College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Voila, instant creditials, instant credibility, instant con.

Ever seen YAs (whatever age you identify as YA) texting? Ever notice when in each other’s presence they really don’t have much to say to each other? Why? Techno-Bubble again. These days everyone knows you give away an awful lot about yourself by actually looking another person in the eye. And every teenager knows this. I’m taking a class (on-line, of course) on making character emotions real. Some of the technique involves using involuntary body and facial movement and responses. The amount of emotional content in our faces is astounding, and what does every YA feel vulnerable about? Their emotions. So they text, IM, and email, avoiding the actual face-to-face thing with its attendant pitfalls.

We all do.

Don't get me wrong, I’m not anti-tech, far from it.

My entire adult career has been spent in the highest of technical fields, the emerging computer revolution. I write SciFi, love reading it and speculating about future technologies. I believe technology has made us, and especially women, (more on that later) richer, freer, safer, more comfortable, and given more people more options than any other time in human history.

I'm just commenting on human nature.

Well, bye for now, I have to go IM this to my on-line critique partners whom I have never actually met.



  1. Ah, Bart.
    Such wisdom coming from a man. ;-)
    No, you're right - we live in our own little sterile environments. Too bad. One day we may forget how to talk.

  2. Bart,

    Great stuff! I've bookmarked your blog - even going so far as to add it to my toolbar...and that's a pretty high bar (pun intended). That said, I know I won't be disappointed and look forward to many more words of wisdom. :)


  3. Great post, Bart. I can say I knew you when when meant face to face. How long will it be before we as a race just think our conversations? Hmmmm. di

  4. Nice job, Dad! Love the design by the way...copy cat.

  5. Face-to-face communication is the best. But I do a little texting myself now and then!

    Great blog, Bart!