As I am out an about traveling today, I have logged a few observations with respect to this digital/techno age we find ourselves immersed in and the decline of human interaction. It is quite odd to note the sheer number of social animals mesmerised by their toys instead of engaged in interaction with one another. Especially in a setting which is conducive to collective gathering and chatter, the preference is to consult with ones personal companion – i.e. mobile phone, laptop or other so-called “smart” gadget to occupy their idle time and dull their senses.
I was also quite amazed by the fact that the private mobile phone is not-so private as we would like it to be. Just recall how often you have been privy to a private, personal and often uncomfortable conversation by a number of individuals in a rather public place – such as an airport, movie theatre or a train station. If you should ever find yourself in a very populated location whether it be in one of the aforementioned or any busy thoroughfare, take 10 to 20 minutes and make note of exactly how many social animals you note on their personal mobile phones. My count, in a populated and busy shopping area in one European city came to 100 in roughly 25 minutes. I would not be shocked if you could surpass that number.
It wasn’t so long ago when these items were just novelty and human interaction meant talking to one another or taking the time to chat with someone you were not very familiar with. That took courage by today’s standards. Something that seems to be in drastic decline today. I mean how much courage can it take to live on the internet communicating with others in a sterile manner without having to subject yourself to the frightening aspect of having to speak face to face. And if you have some unpleasant news to convey such as your displeasure with someone or perhaps to end a relationship, why not send an email or better yet a quick text – “It’s been nice spending time with you the last couple of weeks but I think I need some me time now. Perhaps we’ll meet up some other time. :)” Have any of you been the victim of one of these courageous communicates or perhaps aware of someone who has?
It seems as though our lives are becoming so sterile and that society is on this unyielding spiral downward as technology becomes more intrusive in our lives. The most disturbing aspect of that statement is that we are happily riding the train to that very destruction. I have stated before that it is great to connect with someone over vast distances that we would not otherwise be able to stay in close contact with. However, when does the use of devices for that purpose become excessive? To what degree do we remove the human element from our lives? How much of ourselves must we sacrifice for the sake of innovation and technology? The next time you find yourself alone in a populated location with nothing to do don’t be so quick to pull out your laptop or reach for that mobile companion with its mind-numbing apps. Take out a book or even a magazine and read it or better yet take the time to get to know someone around you. You may be pleasantly surprised and your social skills can only benefit from the experience.
Adiuva me verterem figuram mundi