Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lonelier Than Ever

My childhood was spent on a dairy farm in Los Angeles County. Telephones were still luxuries. It was a big deal when we got a four-party line (yes! four households shared the same line). Phone bandwidth was expensive. Only the wealthy had private lines. On Sundays friends and neighbors would drop in on each other unannounced. In those days, existence had a more tangible personal feel to it. Phones became cheap; and the Internet made communication faster and even cheaper. Today we send messages everywhere on Earth at a moment’s notice. But, are we closer now than the neighbors who knocked at each other’s doors on Sunday for a visit? Are we getting more “free time” by flooding each other with more email and cell phone messages? I don’t think so. In fact, I suspect that we are now lonelier and more confused. We think we’re more connected – but spend more time skimming massive quantities of messages and images coming to our computers screens, cell phones, portable audio headsets, televisions, and radios everywhere. Less and less time, do we spend face-to-face with each other.

3 comments:

Tim said...

Very true, sad to say.

Seth Roberts has found that seeing faces in the morning contributes to a better mood the next day. So we are hard-wired to need face-to-face contact.

I wonder if newer technology like video chats and the soon-to-be-here live virtual reality will change this?

Americ Azevedo said...

Perhaps, because we are so dependent on tech - we may hope to "dig out way back out" to a more natural state via tech! :)

Anonymous said...

I came a long way from Missouri,and I know from what you speak of, when today we,(I) listen more objectively
or read/hear comments as to how other perceive their existence in dealing with daily life. Even if we (I) am just as aware that we are having direct contact even though we are not looking at each other face.Letting this virtual reality become our limited understanding of time/space/ interaction wither on cell phone, video chats or writing
a comments, or reading a comment people write on line.