Two specific examples, then a general example, of the dehumanizing effects of anonymous technological interactions.
First, morons egged on a teenager to kill himself as they watched via a webcam. Sadly, the teen succeeded.
Second, a woman, her assistant and the woman’s daughter set up a false internet identity as a teenaged boy in order to deceive a enemy of the daughter. It appears the woman continued the deception for malicious purposes even though she knew the teenager was potentially suicidal. The teenaged girl killed herself.
Last, the general example. Kids all over this great country of ours are taking nude pictures of themselves and sending them to friends/potential dates/others. It seems these kids have no concept that nothing digitized and released is ever private. Morons.
Takeaway? We may be the most interconnected society we have ever been through our rapidly advancing technology. Paradoxically, we are also the most distant from our basic humanity we have been. We are now as a culture able to abuse people horribly because we need not be present to deal with the consequences of our malice. Likewise, because technology distances us from the effects of our acts, we are losing our ability to accurately assess the outcome of our technology-enabled actions (e.g., I’m posting compromising pictures of myself at a keg party on my Facebook page. No potential employer will ever see them.).
Technologically enabled behaviors have outpaced our collective ability to adapt our societal norms to them. We clearly need to catch up.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.