Now if only it could have been for something important…
The first chapter of Here Comes Everybody tells the story of a Sidekick phone and all that a region of people went through to get it back. Let me say that one more time…the story of a Sidekick…as in cell phone…and how an ENTIRE region of people joined together to get it back. Not only did they rally for a cell phone, they got the government of the city of New York to change police policies for the NYPD.
If you’re reeling from this fact you are not alone. What amazed me the most when reading this chapter was the speed the story picked up. In a matter of 10 days this Evan guy crashed three servers, heard from the government as well as the military police, created a web presence, and developed thousands of followers. Does the notion of 10 emails a minute offering support and anecdotes about said stolen Sidekick cause you to shake your head slightly?
The entire time I was reading this piece, marveling at how quickly everyone reacted and amazed by the reach of one man’s web story, I just kept thinking I can’t believe this was all about the injustice of someone keeping a cell phone they found. Imagine, just sit and imagine if this had been something as monumental as Gay Rights, or the state of our nation. Imagine if one person’s web story about gun control caused such a ruckus that the government actually changed the rules to help the people instead of themselves.
As a person with a degree in psychology and having grown up with a mother with a degree in sociology, I could talk social behavior patterns till we’re all blue in the face but I am still amazed by what the internet allows people to do socially. Create a petition, start a movement, act as judge, jury and executioner every day of the week. The social world is your oyster as long as you have internet access. It is both amazing and terrifying at the same time.