"When the logo’s finished, then we will unveil it. Seven billion people instantly enlightened. Everyone’s rebranded. All the fighting’s over. Say goodbye to conflict. That design’s rejected. There’s no longer language. Only recognition. There’s no longer country. Only corporate colors. Color makes us hungry. Hunger makes us human. Everyone can see it. Everything’s connected." - Neil Cicierega
Imagine a world in which Corporate colors only flew. Where they controlled everything, including education, the food you ate, even the air you breathe. In this world, the earth is dying; overcome by pollution and consumerism. People are in danger and getting sick from the putrid quality of the earth. Their skin is peeling and oozing lesions are growing on their skin. There are riots all over the world and it's our fault. The end draws near and we never did anything to stop it. Technology wins.
This is the setting for M. T. Anderson's novel Feed, in which the planet Earth is in its prime technologically with feeds implanted in nearly every human's skull. The feed allows people to basically have wikipedia inside their mind, as well as a wide array of advertisements. It's kind of like google in your head, ads and all. With that kind of information at their fingertips, humanity shirks their responsibilties to education and the planet and basically allow horrible atrocities to occur through ignorance.
This scares the hell out of me. People, especially in today's society, rely heavily on media influence. We're all on Facebook and MySpace and YouTube. I go on Google multiple times each day. We're flooded by images on the news. We spend hours poring over television shows and movies. But how many of us pick up a book? How many write diligently and thoughtfully? How many have intriguing and pleasant conversations with the people they care about? Not enough. We're all so wrapped up in our own little worlds that we forget there are other people out there and bigger problems than forgetting to update our facebook status.
Now, I'm not knocking technology. I am a big advocate of it. Facebook and YouTube are excellent resources for getting out information and communicating. The YouTube community is one of the tightest knit groups I have ever seen. Certain people really advocate doing good and helping reduce suck in the world, like the Vlogbrothers Hank and John Green. I love the Vlogbrothers. What they and people like them are doing is important. It's a mix of community, comedy, and awareness. I admire their efforts ardently. The entire Nerdfighter community, which I consider myself a member (HOO HAH!) is vital.
However, it worries me that not all people are as clever or brilliant or necessarily as ethical as John and Hank. I worry that people will rely too heavily on technology and through this will be cheated out of important information. Certain things are not meant to be forgotten. This planet of ours is beautiful and awe inspiring but we have to take care of it. I don't want the downfall of Earth and human society to be because of our negligence.
It's never too late to look toward helping the future.
Wow, this entry was really preachy. I sort of apologize, but I sort of don't. Feed, while overwhelmingly interesting and compelling, sort of really freaked me out. And it makes me think. A lot. I want to do something to avert a future like that. I want to resist the feed.