I remember when Mary Esther, one of our staff, first brought in a new Commodore computer to utilize its word processing function. It was probably 1987. We all looked at it like it was from outer space.
Every afternoon I get a news alert from the Star Tribune with the days headlines. It used to be that I had to read the newspaper in the morning, or listen to the evening news to get the same information. With CNN, I am beamed notification of such things as the World Cup results, or the LeBron James hoodwink, at the very moment they happen. Thank you internet.
The things we now take for granted, we once thought we didn't need. Just try to take them away. One consequence of progress is we open paths to information and functions that speed processes and increase producitvity. Another is, we open up a vehicle for instant communication and gratification that can be used at will by anyone; including individuals who used to be heard only by the unsuspecting, who ventured too close to a corner, in Downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul, and marveled at their ranting and the little tin foil umbrella they wore on their head.
Think about it, we have created the worlds largest soapbox. Only now the conspiracy theorists, the end times predictors, the people who took orders from the voices in their heads are all disguised by an attractive color screen that somehow legitimizes that which used to be ignored at best, and made fun of more often than not.
Reading the comments after news postings in the electronic edition, particularly political stories, is more entertaining than the comics used to be in the written edition. Except they're not suppose to be entertaining.
Many feel the need to comment on each and every story, demonstrating something I call e-courage, the intestinal fortitude to hit a button and hide behind a pseudonm to say that which they would never have the intestinal fortitude to say in public.