Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Talk To Me
We can design all the greatest tech gizmos in the world and then what? When you built cars, you built highways, you built suburbs, you built communities around said suburbs, you built jobs to support them, jobs for the drivers of said cars and those who maintain them. You built the energy industry and the other related industries that helped build said cars. You opened the doors to travel and to other industries. So what are you exactly building with a smartphone? More ways to do what exactly? Further live in a bubble-lator where communicating, asking questions, actually expanding horizons is limited to the app on your phone. I watch people walking down the streets faces glued to screens, eyes downcast, ear plugs in completely absorbed in everything but the community and society that surrounds them. What are they looking at exactly? Is everyone that popular or afraid that they must be Texting, Facebooking, Tweeting at every hour of every day? No wonder the publishing industry is in arms trying to find ways to draw eyes to a page. I still go to the Dentist and read the magazines in the waiting room. Wow I must be a dinosaur.
I really believe much of this is not about technology its about Education. Kids don't read. They take tests. They have an attention span as long as a problem question. I see it when I work in the schools. I assume the popularity of the hideous 50 Shades of Gray is less about the quality of writing (or lack thereof its poorly written) and more for its salacious theme. People are lonely and isolated and they would rather read about people having kinky sex than actually having it. But as long as their contact list, their friends and followers are "a lot" then they are not. Right.
I also believe that is why talk radio is still popular. The idea of being able to safely talk to someone regardless of how idiotic they are or pointless the discussion it allows people to talk to someone from the safety and security of home. God forbid talking to someone face to face requires intimacy - not the kind of 50 Shades of Gray however. Its why Social Media is so popular. Its also free. And when you have a lot of free time why not spend it being "social" without having to actually be social.
I love the distraction Twitter provides. Every now and then I read something witty, funny or interesting. But like much of society its a lather/rinse/repeat of something someone said much akin to the game of telephone. When I write entries I actually reprint the articles or sources I glean my information from so they are fully given credit. I prefer journals, the newspapers, and books. There are some great blog sites but I don't use them for citation as they are struggling to make ends meet and they want eyes to their pages, I get it. Me I don't care. Thanks if you want to reprint me. I love it. But like anything you are often evaluated by the source. So if you don't like the source - say the New York Times - you will find a source that validates your thinking. The bubble-lator is not exclusive to one political party or group, its everywhere.
We don't talk anymore. Is it stranger danger or simply the lack of ability. Has technology truly saved the world by allowing people to survive without actually meeting and fighting, crying, laughing, agreeing and more importantly resolving what needs resolution. Perhaps this explains society at large or it explains why we are where we are and we have no idea on how to fix it. Sustainable? I have an app for that.