Monday, February 23, 2015

Somewhere Out There

When I was in college there was this amazing feeling I used to get leaving the campus and stepping off the subway in some part of the city, knowing that no one knew where I was. The idea was rather thrilling since up until that point, for the most part, people knew where I was, or at least where I was supposed to be. The feeling of being part of the crowd was liberating and mysterious. Sometimes I didn't even know where I was riding the subway to myself. Would I get off at Government Center or take the Red Line to Harvard Square? Once I rode to the end of the Green Line only to discover (disappointingly) that Lechmere was just a department store and not some specific part of the city.
Now as a species it's like we've gone completely in the other direction. Now we tell everyone where we are every moment of the day.  When we're at the movies. When we're out to eat. When we're at the coffee shop or the mall. We text and tweet and post things to Facebook that no one really reads because who cares if you're at the dentist or on a whale watch or having lunch with the queen - what we really want is to talk about themselves and what they are doing. But we all keep on with these posts. We want everyone to know where we are. We want everyone to know who we're with. There's no mystery left. Just tedium. 
As a college student I found the idea of being anonymous thrilling. Now it seems we find it terrifying.

song: Somewhere Out There • artist: Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram

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