Fast growing lightweight blogging service Tumblr has been down for most of the past day and its users are being mocked for their concern. “Can Tumblr do a Twitter and recover?” laughs economics writer and funny man Paul Kedrosky, for example, on Twitter. “Does anyone outside Bay Area and NYC care? More at 11.”
How would Kedrosky respond if this was 24 hours of Twitter down time, though? Would we even hear his cries for help? Maybe on Facebook, or more likely on one of his regular CNBC appearances. The point is, one person’s silly diversion is another person’s life-changing communication channel to the world. That’s what Tumblr is to millions of people, and the fact that we suffer withdrawal when our publishing tool of choice goes down isn’t just a symbol of our civilization’s decline from meaning - it’s an illustration of how much things have changed because of these new technologies that have democratized publishing.
“Forget your own personal egocentric need to “share with the world” something you’ve been “thinking” (alert the news media! a man walking down the street is thinking about something!) and ponder instead whether the world at large needs to hear it. That should cut your communication needs right there.
As for what the world will look like in 10 or 20 years, “when today’s young people feel entitled to instant, global, reliable communication and self expression?,” I shiver at the thought that that kind of rampaging hyper-self-involvement/entitlement might continue unabated for 20 more years rather than fizzle out when the world realizes that everybody sharing is the same as nobody sharing. Except a lot more time-consuming.
It’s okay to think thoughts that aren’t shared instantly. Sometimes the thoughts actually get better and more interesting that way.”