So here’s another example of how things are changing…
Yesterday I’m driving down Main St. in the little town where I live when I see a crowd milling about the local funeral parlor. That in itself isn’t totally unusual, but as I pass by, I see an inordinate number of teenagers coming out. Not good. Having been away for the past two weeks, I’m completely out of touch with the local news, so I’m left to wonder if some tragedy may have struck the high school where I used to teach.
When I get home, I click into my Facebook account and do a quick scan of my Hunterdon Central friends, both former students and teachers. I notice one of my former students had joined the group “For Mike–(RIP 9/3/07)” There, I find that one of the more popular athletes from a few years ago had been killed in a car accident. Sure enough, the services listed on the page corresponded with the activity at the funeral home. The group has almost 400 members, and lots of tributes, and pictures and all in all is a pretty moving tribute to this young man, including a thank you from his younger brother. Amazing.
When I see things like this, when I think about how different this world is, not just for the kids and families and friends who are openly grieving for their loss and connecting online in very profound ways, but for me as well, someone who is learning about ideas and events in ways that are new and interesting almost every day, I think about those who say that we could do all of this back in the days of the BBS and that nothing has fundamentally changed. I remember those days too, the days before the Web, and I just can’t fathom how anyone could think that this isn’t different.
Technorati Tags: facebook, connectivism, learning
Tom Hoffman says
Who’s making that argument.
Pam Smith says
My college age daughter heard a rumor that an past boyfriend. His voice mail was full. His parents didn’t answer the phone. What next? She went to Facebook and say the first Rest in Peace notes.
Kristin Hokanson says
I agree with you completely. I blogged back in April after the incident at VA Tech. My babysitter had gone to Tech and left after 1st semester. A good friend of hers was killed in the massacre. The fact that she had facebook as a forum to grieve with her friends at Tech…to see the groups and how they are STILL active today is really incredible. I wish I had been as connected when I studied abroad. Perhaps I would have maintained some of the connections I had made.
Tom Hoffman says
There is this: http://www.google.com/Top/Society/Death/In_Memoriam/Individuals/
Lots of Tripod (founded 1992) sites. Of course, a Tripod guestbook with 400 messages isn’t the same as a Facebook group with 400 members. It is fundamentally different.
Barry Bakin says
Several years ago a group of my freshman college dormmates created a yahoo group just for our dorm and invited everyone to join. It’s been 30 years since our freshman year but a majority of the people in the dorm monitor the list group and occasionally use it to arrange mini-reunions or just have discussions about things of interest. These types of group interactions are new, but they’re not limited to the youngest crowd. Some of us “middle-aged” types use them too!
Holli Weber says
It is amazing to me the amount of information available. In our home town we have tmcnews.blogspot.com at this site they have reports of local events complete with pictures and links to video footage like you tube. It is amazing to me how quickly these images appear. My husband is a firefighter and rescue diver, it is quite often before he even gets home to tell me about an incident it is online complete with photos. It is amazing how the web is shrinking the size of the world!