Complaints about the world being dumbed down by television hav been happening since live theatre stopped being played on TV and was replaced by Rocky and Bullwinkle et al.Now we use the TV as part of the greater computing set up we utilise for Netflix,free-to-air, and gaming. Ironically, of course, we now use this 20+ year medium of the Internet to access information in a time-friendly manner which still divides the haves from the have nots and theres from the wannabe theres.
I find Face book an interesting utility in this decade. Five years ago, friends in their late 50s — 60s were saying how they would never use Facebook, yet today they are conservatively using it to maintain friendships new and old with people they may or not have actually met. There are services provided by Facebook that I guess are just an extension of the dating service it was originally created for, now people use it to contact others who want to recycle stuff, talk about books and have private groups for private purposes some of them illegal, however that is the nature of humans, they will find an illegal use for most things, consider banana skins.
Facebook facilitates easy access to interesting and newsworthy information, humour and photos. It IS the watercooler for folks who don’t have a watercooler, the ability to connect with each other and disconnect just as easily.
I don’t worry about the 53 million likes that some celebrity may have on their facebook or youtube, because that is only 53 million and there are so many other people in the world. Once one stops thinking about the USA as the sum total of all that is great and good in the world and realises that the 250 million people in the USA are dwarfed by the total of 7+ billion around the world, most of whom have never heard of these celebrities, but who do know how to contact family across the world via the Internet and a solar-charged mobile phone, then one begins to realise that what the USA does now is what it has always done. It raises scientists, authors, billionaires and film makers/film stars. But it has also always raised bullies, critics, billionaires and politicians. The USA is the only Western society which actively raises politicians from pre- college. This makes them a one trick horse. Whilst they deserve respect, they certainly don’t earn it — of course there are exceptions, there always have been, but they are few. When the politicians can’t perform in a manner worthy of earning respect, THAT is when Western or more specifically USA Civilisation starts to break down.
However, it is not all bad. Maybe it is time to get back to one’s roots, put all the kids into schools not homeschools or military schools, just plain old schools and teach them their ABC’s and 123’s and how to grow a plant from a seed, and let them play like Tom and Huck, and all those children that graced that pages of American classics who lived in the open air whilst Dickens was writing about Little Dorritt and Little Nell and all those other children lost to the British Industrial Revolution, and that is without mentioning the Indian, Chinese, African children who also lost their childhood to create the Western Civilisation so lauded, so desirable, so destitute.