This internet age separates from feeling,
substitutes outrage for empathy,
renders into soundbites abstract thought,
reduces complexity to ones: more often, zeros.
Attention spans decline like a dead blog page
as glassy surfaces become reflections
of diatribes of hate hurled out
into a VR populated by real people.
Language transfers into an opaque tool,
misused until points wipe to nothingness:
blank horizons merge with wallpaper
where the frustration of inarticulacy dominates.
All too easy for the screengrab to be truth,
the unsourced become the code to live by,
not to detect the Trojan horse crashing over
freedoms as we click ourselves away.
The great tool to inform also misinforms
with viral data saved in memory until
all problems are viewed as binary choices,
packaged in fewer than 140 characters.
There is always an off switch.
C B Donald was born in Dundee, where he still lives. He had a poem published in the Whaleback City anthology of Dundee poetry from the last 600 years. He is a member of Dundee’s Nethergate Writers and his short fiction has been included in the last five of that group’s volumes.