A while back I posted a video of a man reciting a poem about our state of being, and how it has changed due to the antisocial aura of technology. And on the same topic I rencetly posted how technology has dumbed us down a bit. Today I found another great video, but in thinking of how I came to view the video, it seems kind of hypocritical, I found both on Facebook, which is part of the Anti-Social problem.
I wrote a bit about it on my FB share of this same video. I see the a lot of issues discussed in myself. Being a tech I love my toys. And I am usually on my cell 24/7 (or close to it) either chatting with friends and family, playing a game, or watching Netflix/XBMC. Even when sitting in front fo the TV with my friends, I am on my phone (and so are they usually). We’ve almost gotten to the point where we text each other from across the room (not quite, but close).
Our society, and the newest generations in particular, are, more and more, becoming anti-social. With the advent of Technology, and more so the ability to hold a full-blown computer in your palm (Smartphones), our physical connections to society have dwindled and become virtual instead.
The last shred of Technological Socialness was right before the internet hit it big in th elate 90’s. Before computers everything was social, I mean we did have phones, attached to wall mind you, but it was used mostly to call up a friend and see if it was OK to come over, or to arrange a meet up. But right before the late 90’s when computers were becoming affordable, and the internet had yet to hit its potential, there were BBSs, where Technology and Real Social activities met, for the last time. I remember being a part of a 2 major BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems) in my home town of Ottawa; DreamScape (DS) and Outaouais Online (OO). I was obviously apart of several others, but they weren’t really social to the same extent. With DS and OO, we would have what we called GTs, otherwise known as Get Togethers. For DS, there was the Sunday Brunch at the James Street Cafe where you would pay your fees to access the BBS, if I recall correctly it was about $1/hr which didn’t seem like much as you usually weren’t on the computer for that long anyway. You would log on, check your messages, and then log off, a gain used as a tool to find out when to meet up with people. Some of course would play Scimitar for hours on end, that of course would cost more since you would be on for longer periods of time. I usually spent about $15 a month. For OO it was a monthly meet somewhere new each time, Sometimes to the Movies, sometimes to Dinner… The part I remember most, was even at the GTs, we didn’t know anyone’s real name, it was always their Alias. Some of mine over the years have been Kronos3, Chaotic Relevance, Kronic, Cardiac (Arrest), Demented Souls, Lostnode, and now TH3 R3V3L. So although we kept ourselves anonymous by use of using an Alias, we still had real social connections, we went out, met people, chatted with them face to face, and got out of the house. We were active.
Now the most distance people go to interact is the distance from where ever they are standing to the where the computer/console system is. Even if the person we are going to talk to is next door, we would rather hope on to a voice chat server to chat than sit in the back yard and have a beer (or a soda/class of water for the younger generations). That social connection we once had has now become a virtual connection. With the introduction of smartphones in the last decade, our physical connection is almost all but gone. I mean, why go to see someone when you can instantly get a hold of them by text message… What happened to calling Johnny’s place and leaving a message with his Mother to come on over when he gets home so you can play some basket ball in the drive way… Instead you text Johnny “Hey when you get home hop on the [DSC] Server for some Battlefield action”… Out human interactions have now become virtual. Our social tendencies have become Anti-Social. SUre we keep in touch with more people than we ever used to, I mean I have almost all my highschool class mates on my Facebook now, even those I wasn’t really friends with back in the day. But do I actually talk to any of them, do I visit them all and “SHot the shit” and catch up on old times? Not really. And those I do, I don;t do it often enough. And it’s not just the distance, I mean I moved 200KM away from my home town, and I do get back there some times. But even my friends here in Montreal rarely see me. I chat with them online, or I speak to them on the phone for a bit, but mostly its texts and Facebook chat, even when in the same room. Where is the face to face interactions?
What the older generations regard as reality, we as the newer generations have lost. Physical contact has been replaces with a digital connection that just isn’t the same. Our once social communities have become anti social, staring into our cellphones while we walk down the street… How long as it been since you saw a person walking by Smile? How long as it been since you smile back? We pass hundreds of people every day, and if you took time to look up, you would see that the majority of them are buried in their cell phones. When I am out now I use my call phone as an MP3 player to dull the noise as it agitates me, but I am looking where I am going, I am smiling at people who have taken time to look up. But sadly most of the face I see the are the elderly, those who have decided not to grasp the edge of technology, those who decided it’s not for them. To me, they seem the happiest, they are still enjoying life to the fullest while we bury ourselves in ones and zeros, camp ourselves outside the stores in hopes of being the first to grab the next gen gadgets.
What have we become? Mindless sheep, following celebrities we don’t know on Twitter, reading posts by people we never cared about back in highschool, or that never cared about us. believing every piece of fake news that pops up on our wall because we think the person who posted it is trust worthy. We believe the viral terms because they were the most popular, I mean if Johnny posted it along with 60,000 other people I don;t know, it must be true Right? We now take VIrtual Reality as Fact, and separate ourselves more for the true reality. There is a world of wonder, we just need to look up from our devices to experience it.
I challenge everyone who ever reads this post, to takes one or two nights a week, call up your buddies, and go out. Either leave your phones at home, or just turn them off. Nothing is so important that you need to ignore your friends to read and respond to a text from someone who isn’t there with you. “Oh but what if there is an emergency”? So what people did in the old days, tell your Wife, Girlfriend, Family member where your going to be, give them the number to the place. If its an emergency, they can call you there. Just go out to a pub, or a game, and be social with friends, get back your human interactions. Disconnect from technology for a night. You will find you have been missing a lot. Take the challenge, enrich your life. Let me know in the comments how it went, if it truly changed you.