Being plugged-in blocks sociability
By MICHELLE HUANG
In today’s largely plugged-in society, many express gratitude for the conveniences of modern technology. However, most do not stop to think about the very essentials of society that technology has taken from us.
With the exponential rise in technological use among people of all ages, many aspects of life in the early days of technology have become obsolete.
Granted, several of these factors, such as buying newspapers to catch up on the day’s events, calling someone on a brick phone that only had enough battery to last one call, and riding a bike or walking ten or twenty miles to the nearest school, were extremely tedious.
Despite this, some of the most intimate interactions that people had with others were fostered through continuous face-to-face communications. Because of the lack of social media, people had ample time to chat with new and old friends, ultimately becoming closer and finding out more things about them than they could behind a screen.
For example, in the greater part of the 1900’s, people only had the radio to rely on for electronic entertainment. Therefore, children often went outside to play with neighbors during weekends and after school, while parents held parties and dinners, without any fear of being robbed or threatened by these people.
However, with the onset of technology, people instantly became closed-off, choosing to hide behind screens and lose their own individuality because of the ambiguity of virtuality when conversing with friends or threatening victims, rather than approaching them in person. With this drastic change in interaction, people developed a barrier between themselves and the rest of the world, because the anonymity of interacting behind a screen also presents considerably more fears of a dangerous society because people do not know for sure who they are talking to through a media platform.
Aside from the possible dangers that technology has brought to citizens, the overall atmosphere of a town or a city has simply evolved into a much colder, more distant feeling. Having a collective, productive community is especially important because it allows people to be more open with each other, which builds up trust and happiness in a town.
For instance, in the 1900’s, before extremely advanced technology hit, towns used to be so close that people were comfortable leaving their children at various families’ homes around town, because everyone spent so much time together already and everyone was easily able to trust each other. Sleepovers were not as big of a deal as they have become nowadays, because they happened often, and many families were familiar enough with each other that their children often slept over at each other’s houses.
In fact, people felt so comfortable with each other that some walked right through their neighbor’s doors when they needed some salt or some onions while they were making dinner.
Unfortunately, the tight-knit nature of community and family has given way to a far more secluded life primarily because of the conveniences that highly-reformed technology has provided us.
Though many see these conveniences solely as a blessing and the path to an easier life, our lives today has greatly strayed—and not necessarily in a positive way—on a depressingly lonely path filled with the superficial idea of popularity versus the bleak, real-life interactions. Perhaps, if we, as a society, can recognize these shortcomings as a result of the technology that we have so strongly relied on in recent years, we may be able to change our interactions with others and reopen the multitudes of meaningful relationships that come with concrete interactions.