Thursday, June 23, 2011

Technology Divides Us

I remember the earlier days of social communication getting big; I was in there on MySpace and Facebook because that's what everyone did, that's where the world was going. It wasn't until more recently that I see technology sought to divide us much more than it desired to connect us.

You have 8,000 friends across the globe but when did the dynamic of friendship change from someone you talk and pal around with, out about in the real world to idle chit-chat and nonsense to people thousands of miles away? When did friendship change from meeting people, shaking their hand to clicking 'Add as Friend?'

Technology has made it possible to connect and keep in touch with those across long distances which is an incredible benefit but, it has also closed us off to new relationships. People funnel all their time and energy into the computer and they stop shaking those hands or giving those hugs in favor of cute emoticons which have no meaning or value. Most of us are not making new friends but we do stay well connected with the friends we do have; as numerous or as few as we collected before technology became the new word of friendship.

Technology can provide a venue for which the world population can become more aware if you care to immerse yourself but, as always, the majority has bastardized a good concept for something cheap and gimmicky.

More people are watching movies on smaller and smaller formats as a standard; real filmmakers consider this a poor way to view their efforts. What is also associated with that is the destruction of sitting down, in one room, together, and watching a larger screen. The family or your friends aren't going to all huddle around the iPad to watch Cars 2; instead, each person will sit in front of their personal device and watch their own program. But, of course, you can instant message each other when the best part comes so it's all good.

The smaller format technologies are made to destroy the concept of togetherness; they seek to keep people singular, away from others. This is because, with others, it's hard to make sure everyone stays motionless and brainlessly watching colorful, smutty images and endless advertising.

One of the worst offenders are video games; since the inception of online play, developers have allowed split screen gaming to falter. These days you can have a cooperate or versus play game but a person in your room cannot play with you; they'd need to be playing from their own system at home. This further encourages behavior of togetherness over a distance and the decay of a personal society.