Here Comes Everybody…

Book by Clay Shirky
Book by Clay Shirky

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.

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2 thoughts on “Here Comes Everybody…

  1. bmartindale2013 says:

    Wow Amber! I love the passion you have when you write! I also appreciate the fact that you sort of take the other side of the argument. Instead of thinking that the story that Clay Shirkey shares is wonderful and inspiring (as he wants you to), you see it as a scary picture of our society and the ridiculous things that technology is used for. I understand that the heroics that took place as a result of a lost cell phone are quite dramatic and probably unnecessary, but I think that it does a great job of depicting how social media has grown dramatically in such a short amount of time! It also astounds me how connected people are now and how they “ban together” over causes they find through social media. I think you make a very good point though on how it is very sad that people don’t find this same passion over causes that are so much more worthy of our time and attention. As Luke said, great post!!

  2. lukemeyer says:

    You too see both sides of the coin, the double-edged sword that is the interwebs! I agree with you, the story was wild, especially considering the item that was stolen. However, it was the principal of the matter that really pulled me in. When he quoted Sasha’s initial response in which she refused to return the phone, I’ll admit, I got a bit heated myself. She clearly didn’t handle herself well at all, which is at the heart of the whole predicament. Imagine if she had just returned the phone…then I guess we wouldn’t be reading this. But on a deeper level, I agree with your post wholeheartedly. The internet is a force that can be harnessed for amazing things, but the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of people, myself included, use it for entertainment or other petty things…such as attempting to recover a lost cell phone. BTW, while reading this, I couldn’t help but think of all of my FB friends who lose their phone and post to their wall: ‘LOST PHONE, MESSAGE ME YOUR #.’ Great post!

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