How We Communicate Now, Online

Two things have really effected me in the last 30 days.  One was Hurricane Sandy hitting the North East Coast of the US and the second was the U.S. Presidential Election. I think I experienced both of the historical events in a way no other generation has before because of how plugged in I am to technology.

Hurricane Sandy and the Age of Information

Hurricane Sandy was something that I actively followed because I live in New York. At first I was dismissive of the danger since hurricanes don’t hit the North East but a few days before it was suppose to hit I realized that this storm could have done real damage. I saw satellite pictures of it’s size, I heard projections of damage by meteorologist and when it hit The Caribbean I thought there was no harm in getting ready.

As the Hurricane got closer I saw tweet after tweet of stats, satellite images and official statements and locals sharing how they were getting ready. All of this real time information told me to be prepared for a real disaster, so I prepared. I followed storm trackers, viewed my friends pictures and read New York Times articles on damage to the city. After the storm I streamed live news conferences from Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Cuomo. Luckily for me I never lost power so even though my building lost telephone and cable service I was already up to speed on what was happening to my world.  Since their was enough information out there ahead of time and a constant stream of new information I knew where to be and what to do and I left lucky that I didn’t have guess what was going to happen to me.

While Hurricane Sandy was something that I actively tracked in the 2012 Election however was almost forced upon me. I am a voter and interested in politics but this event was far more involving than anything I’ve seen before.

The 2012 Election and the Age of Irritation

While us tech savvy people know the rules to Social Media Engagement the rest of the world does not. Two of the things you aren’t suppose to talk about are your religious and political affiliations because no one will completely agree with you and you’ll mak more enemies than friends. I tell businesses and professionally networked people to avoid these topics at all cost. Not only does it offend people who disagree with you but it can even annoy those that do.

My Twitter feed was tolerable since most of the people that I follow are SEOs, digital  marketers and developers and we know to keep that stuff to ourselves, for the most part. Although I did read up on general topics I didn’t watch the debates or any of their press conferences . Regardless of my desire to avoid some of the coverage I got play by play stats on Facebook and Twitter. From the funny gaffes to the inflammatory comments made by the candidates.

Three months away from the election my feeds almost 100% Ronmey and Obama. Friends posted only about why their candidate was awesome and why the other one was evil, why a candidate’s soundbite proved they are dumb but their candidate was smart. Everyone was posting basically the same joke over and over again, only getting meaner and nastier as November 6 rolled near. There were even memes about unfriending people until the election was over. I was really tempted but I thought it was rude and I’m sure I was annoying too.

It got to the point that any post on Facebook whether it was about the election or not turned Red or Blue within 3 comments. Even after the president was re-elected Obama supporters regularly posted their joy and Romney supporters posts their rage, even now I see comments about the election.

This election has exhausted me and annoyed me beyond understanding.

Hurricane Sandy made me truly appreciate the technology we have available to us, and the Election made me daydream about being Amish.