As I write this, dear reader, I'm sitting on the train on my way back from Glasgow where I was attending a protest against ACTA. I was not alone but the turn out was nowhere near as large as the Facebook event "going" numbers suggested it would be. I'm unsurprised, frankly.


Why would that be, Ben, you cynical misanthrope?


That'd be because I've become accustomed to the sickening apathy of my generation. Nothing poses any real, tangible threat to their ways of life on its own. However over time their liberties are being eroded and yet they are unwilling to even consider speaking out.


I have several theories as to why this might be, although I doubt it is any one thing. Something new flew into my factors today based on something I listened to some time ago.


Mobile phones.


I have no real issue with them, I've had one since I was sixteen, etc. etc.. This isn't a post to rally against them, it's more a spot of finger in the air speculation.


Prior to the ubiquity of mobile phones there were greater social consequences for not attending something. One could not call an hour before and tell someone that one would be unable to meet them. They'd already be on their way there, or at least unreachable. These days one can send a text at short notice and whilst there is still consequence one did still provide some notice, rather than none at all.


Essentially it has become a lot easier to avoid committing to social engagements. One can sit on the fence until the last moment, sometimes beyond.


The other thing I would comment on is the peer pressure social media creates. I don't see many strong opinions posted in my Facebook feed, I see mundane matters. I don't tend to hesitate about being outspoken about issues that get to me yet I find myself cautious about posting things to my Facebook feed. If I find it that difficult who is to say how difficult it must be for those who are less gregarious than myself?


Of my Facebook "friends" only one came to the protest today and he's someone I only know through politics and so would probably have attended regardless of my own actions. None of them even offered an opinion on ACTA, let alone asked to come along (or better yet, told me they'd be there).


I find this extremely disappointing yet it is also the response I expected.


What needs to happen for my generation to actually consider that these things affect them and can be changed?


Why is it that it is almost taboo to take action amongst mainstream culture?

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