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  • Sun, 15:32: Growing old is unavoidable. BECOMING old, is a choice.

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A Moment of Reflection...

So, the election had me thinking about a lot of things. One thought occurring to me was, how did we get here?

Then I really got to thinking... how did we become so divided?

Even everywhere you go on the web these days, there's such a dividing line. This side or that, us or them. Left or right.

I remembered back to a time where there was no Facebook. There were some smatterings of places like LiveJournal. Before that, newsgroups, before that BBS's.

Even though they were smaller communities, more segmented from each other, the people themselves were more unified. Then, something happened.

The web exploded, but not in love all around us. Sadly, as is the norm... PEOPLE manage to screw anything up. The web just kept growing, and growing. More people were using it everyday.

There was a time on the internet, that most of the people on were nerds, geeks, educators etc. I remember getting introduced to the pre-cursors of the internet, BBS's in my 20's. Finding communities of thinkers, writers, creators, scientists, and feeling for the first time in my life, I'd found groups of people I could relate to. People that got me. People that were like me. Feelings that were not what one would call common place for me in the prior interval of my life.

As I got older, and the internet evolved, I remember using my first web browser. Absolutely NOTHING compared to what we have today, and the first versions of Mosaic/Netscape I used, utilized formatter text on a screen, but not even still pictures at the time and not even color screens, just monochromatic. We were still digging in the dirt technologically speaking, but we were all doing it together.

We then began seeing the pre-cursors of social media, web services companies like Prodigy, CompuServe, AOL, MSN... or what I also refer to, as the end of the beginning.

They would wind up brining to us all the thing that started it all, and that little thing began with an often little forgotten app these days that was called ICQ.

ICQ (Short for I Seek You), was begun as a side project from a group at AOL. The side project which would eventually become AOL Instant Messenger. Soon, all the major players Yahoo, MSN, AOL, then eventually Google, all generated a version of an Instant Messaging platform. We didn't have to pick up a phone (and this was just as the cell phone era was taking off) to call someone. You could chat a message right from your computer.

As cell phones evolved into Smart Phones, Instant Messaging would eventually go the way of the dinosaur as well, at least in its previous incarnation, in lieu of text messaging. As AOL, MSN & YAHOO as content providers and internet watering holes as Myspace and then Facebook would come along to usurp them.

We had this big, huge thing called the Internet, which had this 1000's of little pocket communities of people to this big, huge thing called the internet, containing within it, these big, huge things like Myspace and Facebook. Smaller groups in a big place, we still do ok. Larger groups in a large place, we lose our shit, start hating each other and lose all evidence of humanity. The great access given to a wider audience we were given, the worse off we became.

What if, in order to save ourselves, we have to destroy the internet?

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