posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 11:00 PM
Thanks to the OP for bringing this up. This is a topic I've pondered rather frequently lately.
The thing about "social technology" is that it that it is a poor substitute for actual socialization. Human communication goes beyond words as most
of us know. Over thousands of years, we've developed all sorts of little complexities to direct interaction that simply cannot be completely
captured without engaging in up close and personal communication. Even things like Skype deny us things like touch, smell, and the subtle role of
In truth, the time we've had indirect communication methods other than letters or telephone is still in its infancy, though. It's still an
experiment of sorts and there are still people who have yet to take part in any form. The question is: will people know when to stop? How will a
species adapted over millennia for direct communication react when it is torn from them in the space of a decade or two?
The above question is why I think we have a right to be concerned. Some technological advances, mainly in the fields of medicine and transportation,
improve our lives and make things much faster. Communication tech. makes things faster too, but people seem to think that it's a decent substitute
for actually being with people. It is in that mentality that I see a danger for humans. We are capable of adapting, but not within the space of a
few decades. Our entire structure of socialization may see its undoing in just that little amount of time, however. As for what happens then, we can
only guess. The very thought of that gives me an image of a numb, dystopian kind of place, though.
There's something so significant about the intimacy we risk losing with the advancement of social technology. As we head closer and closer to that
loss, I can imagine we'll see a redefinition of human relationships. What will love, family, and friends mean in a world where, say, people use
texting as their primary method of interaction (we're pretty close to that now, as a matter of fact)? What will happen when people are less and less
directly associated with the most important people in their lives? Once again, I can only guess, but I think it's a troubling idea to say the
Personally, I try to live a life that embraces direct interaction as much as possible. And, while I have a Facebook, I use it sparingly. Sure, never
texting and such is not exactly practical anymore. Nonetheless, I value quality over quantity when it comes to people.
Here's what I honestly think, though: regardless of the consequences, the growth of social technology is a monster that won't be stopped short of a
global disaster. OP, you are wise to think about what's going on and question the consequences. Mainstream society, however, is unfortunately
willing to go along when it comes to things like this. By the time this comes back to bite us (in some ways it already has), most people won't know
what hit em'. Sad but true.
Thanks for reading.