52 Blue

This article is about an anomaly in the marine world; a whale that naturally communicates using sound waves at a much higher frequency than ever recorded. With this case serving as the lone exception, blue whales in general are known to emit sounds in a frequency range between 15-20 hertz, so it was very common for hydrophone equipment to pick them up sometimes in packs. However this particular whale always appeared to be alone. Experts believed it was because this particular whale “sang” at a frequency that was to high pitch for others to acknowledge, and therefore respond to. This is the story of the Loneliest Whale.

Over the years since its discovery, this creature began to receive a large amount of public sympathy. Researchers started getting letters from whale fanatics and deaf people who speculated that the mammal might share a similar disability. This quickly got out of control however as the whale started receiving attention from heartbroken individuals, other people having trouble with their love lives; artists and musicians began to create elaborate songs and pieces of art in dedication to this one animal. Someone even set up a Twitter account to speak on the whale’s behalf. This all happened because it was a figure that many people easily identified with.

Later in the article the author wrote…

“One of the themes of Zeman’s film is modern loneliness, that people are particularly responsive to the story of 52 in the digital era—when the Internet promises connectivity but can actually deliver us even deeper into isolation.”

My interpretation of this is that the author recognizes that internet is marketed as a place where individuals are constantly interacting with one another, meeting new people and where you will develop more as part of a group rather than as one person who is alone. The reality of the situation is that meeting up with someone in a chat room, or through social media sites such as Facebook or Instagram is not the same as going out in the world and actually experiencing what it is like to meet up with someone amazing and do something that is unforgettable. I believe that the digital age has forced many people to fall out of touch with what it truly means to be a part of something, and I do agree with the idea that many people unwittingly favor isolation.

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