My friends, I want to ask you a serious question. Where are the pews in the First Universal Church of the Internet? How is it possible for us to worship at the altar of the First Universal Church of the Internet without an actual, physical place or any of the normal accoutrements of a human endeavor? Have we become so enamored with sitting at a keyboard, all by our lonesome and staring at a monitor that the Internet has begun to eat away at the heart and soul of our society?
A recent experience on the Internet has given me pause to wonder about the strong negative impact of the Internet on the rich human tapestry of our world. Because of incidents like this one I have just undergone, I have begun to fear for the very existence of our world my friends. I fear that we are moving away from the rich texture of an interactive society to a world populated by individuals who hide in fear of ever having to interact with anyone.
As you might imagine, people are now hired by firms over the Internet without the barest touch of human contact. People are fired over the Internet in the same impersonal way. All of this goes on without the dirty and inconvenient necessity for human interaction which is caused by the need to talk to another individual and actually having to listen to them.
Have we gone too far down a wrong path? I am really beginning to worry that the convenience of the Internet is being used as an excuse for humans to totally isolate themselves from the rest of civilization. No muss, no fuss, and no need to soil your soul by speaking with another person. You have no requirement to care for others, therefore there is no need for a follow-up commitment to listen or pay attention to them.
Some of you may recall a commentary I wrote a couple of years ago about an individual in a volunteer fire company who was fired from his position as a Captain via an email message from his chief. I now know how this person felt. I was apparently fired the other day from a job without ever even being given the courtesy of an email message telling me that my services were no longer necessary. Heck that Captain did better than I did. He got something in writing.
Without going into details on the names or places involved, I was recently hired to do a job for a particular firm. I was retained to facilitate an on-line educational offering. It looked like a good deal. The tasks required of me were things with which I am intimately familiar. It seemed like a good way for me to share the knowledge I have gained over the past 41 years in the emergency service world.
I should have had my antennae up. The words of a dear friend are now ringing loudly and clearly within my mind. He has often cautioned me that if something seems too good and too easy to be true, then some is surely amiss. He was right. Once again these age-old words of advice have come home to roost like chickens in the henhouse of my life.
You kind folks out there have come to know me as a man who does not mince words. If something is wrong, I call it like I see it. In this case to which I now make reference, I found several things to be amiss and commented to the powers that be as the situation demanded. I guess these folks are not used to getting emails from a plainspoken person.
Apparently I was dealing with people who have skins and egos made of tissue paper. They also apparently have a deep and abiding fear of having to speak to another human. Once again let me state that I shall not tell you who they are or where they live. This commentary is not about pointing fingers. It is about my chosen mission of sharing the experiences of my life with you. I then leave it to you to draw your own conclusions.
Can you imagine beginning to teach a class and discovering that the syllabus and modules provided were from an old section of the course? It was disconcerting to say the least to see a minimum of congruence between the syllabus and the modules. I cannot tell you how much of my time was spent correcting problems and fielding questions from the students about these issues. Heck the reading assignments were from a previous edition of the same text.