My Response to 9/11 Articles and Tech View Points

Article at Church Mag; Cited article: 9/11 in a Social Media World

My comment to both articles, or just a rawer perspective of why I’m worked up over how little we pay attention to history’s nuances now:

I guess I am one of a few that didn’t see tech in the same light as the cited article. As a USAmerican, I *was* using email (Yahoo and Excite at the time) just as much, if not more than GMail is used now. I didn’t have a mobile, having given it up many months before because of my limited budget as a college student. I did have a PDA (Probably using the Palm IIIxe at the time, maybe even the M515), and I also was on news websites just as much as I was leading those in my dorm to be on different tv stations as I decoded the messages of the moment (things changed at approx 935 from amazement to a terroism-war message).

Outside of the speed of information, there’s not much that would have changed. The fact that people just barely know the tech channels enough to use them now is a bigger change more than the nameplates of what’s available.

A better, or perhaps more humbling viewpoint would be to frame our understanding of the events that happened then with those that happened at Pearl Harbor and how people might have been notified, effected, etc as the technology of that time dispersed the information of the moment.

Don’t get me wrong, there has certainly been a number of changes with how the majority of the world takes in and then shares their experiences of news and other emotional events. I just don’t see that it was such a different shift as many of the commenters are speaking towards. That’s not to invalidate where they are now in respect to then – there’s a bit of truth to the mobile-tuned analogy before-iPhone/after-iPhone. However, there’s also a more subtle truth that’s simply ignored – we haven’t gone that much further ahead from a decade ago. If anything, we’ve slowed down and moved backwards.

I was a Speech Communiications major at Millersville University just getting out of my 8AM class and back to the dorm when this happened. I was already paperless in all of my classes and begun making requests of most of my professors to have electronic submission methods in place for papers and other assignments that could be handled on their PCs by simply using MS Word’s track changes and comments features. I was a few months from pushing even further into using the web/Internet as my primary channel for communication, entertinament, and productivity. Where tech was then is where we are still arguing andd politicking over now.

I won’t make the statement that tech,, nor our use of it is in a better place. We aren’t. We are in a slightly worse one (tell me, how much of your digital information do you not have under survelance of at least two governments and 10 private companies). I will concede that we have the opportunity to learn from that history, as well as others before to carefully and wisely communicate a better history and present for us all.