When TIME Magazine identified "You" as the Person of the Year on January 1, 2007, it was criticized as a ploy to generate attention for an MSM outlet in search of its own role.
"You," TIME explained on the cover, under its blurry mirror: "Yes, you. You control the Information Age. Welcome to your world."
Now, six months and zillions of blogs, comments, rants, photos, MySpace, Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube postings later, TIME was partially correct. "You" has been empowered to think "you" controls the Information Age.
"You" has been given a sense of artificial importance and power that has the potential of turning the Information Age into a Misinformation Age. The changes and developments are speeding by and more people have a way for their voices to be heard. That's all right. But, other than the immediate gratification of being anonymous negative comment "#48" on someone else's web site, what good is TIME's definition of control? A few comments later, and "you" are on the second page, and then the 11th page, and then lost in cyberspace. Besides, in these short-attention-span, 24/7 news cycle times, the professionals who really do control the information do it much better than all the other "yous" ever will.
I'm glad we're in the Information Age and everyone can have a voice. It's disheartening, though, to think all the technology evolved just so more people can feel they achieved something important in their lives by catching a classmate, neighbor or candidate in an unflattering act or by insulting a stranger.
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