Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gotta love the 'net

The Internet really is an amazing creation. I think that sometimes we take it for granted. I know I did. Instant information whenever you want or need it. The ability to connect to anyone anywhere. It's been such a part of society for so long I think we are getting a little too used to it being there. The really powerful thing though is the ability to connect to folks with no prejudices based on first impressions to cloud your judgement.

This fact really hit home tonight. Although I would have had the long and very enjoyable conversation with the person I did tonight if we met in person (you know who you are!), all I knew going in was a first name and an avatar. It made me wonder how many barriers would be broken if all first conversations were handled this way. No race, no political agendas, not even a voice. Just some words on a computer screen.

How many stereotypes could be broken? How many prejudices could be eliminated? How many conflicts could be avoided?

Some people say that we are slowly losing our social interaction skills by the disconnect that the Internet causes. I tend to agree with that, but what other avenues of interaction are we missing because the wonder of the Internet is fading?

Do I have some prejudices? Sure. I'm human. Do I let them rule my life? I don't think so. I try every day to break them though. Some days I'm successful, other days not so much. I will say this though, some of my best and most remembered conversations were when I crossed cultural boundaries. I think that everyone needs to, at least once, put their prejudices aside for just one conversation and talk as humans. You may be surprised.

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