It happened about thirty years ago.
At first there were only a few of these little blocks pulling their host bodies around town. We used to think it amusing to see the faces lit up in blue-grey tones as they wandered thorough the cities. ‘What a strange way to live’ we thought as we chatted away.
But over time more and more faces were infused with the grey-blue. Now we needed these blocks to navigate our lives. Users were pulled through individual pathways regardless of where others were and what they were doing. The grey blocks redefined liberty. They made it clear – you and what you want in this moment is all important. They freed us to shop around for things to shape our uniqueness and set up networks of others to confirm our value. Our dependency deepened when we allowed the blocks to determine how and when and where we would work and what we would do when we got to work and what we would do afterwards.
The blocks helped us to feel that we could never be alone as we walked solitary pathways to single rooms. The blocks helped us to re-think ourselves as members of relational communities rather than old-fashioned neighbourhoods. We merged with the blocks in the name of individual choice and soon found it impossible to put them down. Eventually the law made it compulsory not to put the blocks down but we welcomed this in the name of efficiency.
And so what might have been crowds, unions, fellowship began to decay as the blocks worked their magic and hurled us into ourselves and the limitless virtual world.
You’re reading this on a block now aren’t you? How else? This is the point.