posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 11:16 AM
Note: I am an IT technician by trade, have been my entire life. I use technology every day but unlike most, I am not consumed buy it. Watching
children grow up, I fear for what it is doing to society.
I had a thought. I thought to myself that all of society, at least in modernized countries, has developed a trend of inward thinking. To understand
what I mean, we must first look at the reverse of such, the past, when people were more accustomed to outward thinking.
I can only speak for my own culture, but I believe it is generally the same for all modern countries who have followed similar courses. When I look to
the past, say the 1950's for example, I see a very different type of people. I see a type of people that go out and meet new people, they do new
things, and they are active in their communities. They were a people who enjoyed to travel and who were, at the very least, interested in what was
going on in the rest of the world because they knew it affected them. Children were well mannered. Violence was limited, mostly, to organized crime
and a few deadbeats - there wasn't much in the term of "crazy" people going out and doing crime. There was plenty to do to keep one from going
People thought and say in an outward way. In the past if someone approached you on the street and started a conversation, it would be considered
relatively normal, and it would be generally disrespectful if you ignored them or insulted them for doing so. It was considered and polite and
mannerly to put others ahead of yourself in many different situations and that is where outward thinking shined most.
I studied for a long time to try to find out when that all changed. Was it during the Depression? No, even during and afterwards people still
maintained their same air and still had an idea of discipline. The same can be said all the way up to the 60's and 70's. Sure, it was famous for
it's counterculture and revolutionary thinking, but it was just as famous for its displays of hope and togetherness shared amongst people at the
time. In the end I narrowed it down to a specific time frame when everything started to change. It wasn't until the 80's and early 90's that the
ideas of inward thinking began to emerge in form and materialism began to take over the minds of many.
I couldn't really imagine what happened at this time to cause such a thing. What changed in the lives of humanity, and specifically Americans, during
that time to begin the change that we see today. The television had been around for decades before; the radio for nearly a century. Sex, drugs, and
rock and roll had come and gone and yet people still survived and thrived before this time. What could have possibly impacted mankind enough to cause
them to stop caring altogether about everything besides their own little box of thoughts?
And then it came to me. This device I use right now to type this writing, the device that is now within nearly every modern object we possess, a
device we no longer wouldn't know how to live with out (most of us)... the computer. That is what changed everything. In the 80's the computer
became available to the public and by the 90's the personal computer had been in the majority of all modern homes. As I said, the idea of inward
thinking was a slow rise, and as computers became more popular, more cost efficient, more technologically advanced, and more available to the public -
so the spread like wildfire.
As the computer rose, imaginations dwindled. What was once only something to me thought of in the mind, could not be computer generated. While
computers were initially made as tools to be productive, being alternatives for mathematicians and new age typewriters, among many other things, they
soon became elements for entertainment purposes. By the mid to late 90's there wasn't a computer that didn't come pre-installed with games and
video or music software.
Computers became "Do-it-all Devices". The Internet only added to the trend. Where initially the internet was available to the wealthy percentage of
Americans, the field grew exponentially to where today, more than 80% of American's are connected to the Internet. Before high speed internet,
computers were practically unable to be updated without spending copious amounts of money. New games and programs needed to be purchased and computer
upgrades were practically non-existent. You either bought a new computer or you stuck with what you had.
Today, the interchangeability of parts and the flooded computer market makes parts very cheap and computers are able to be upgraded efficiently for
4-5 years and still be kept in competition to newer models. The Internet not only allows people to download those programs and games they once had to
wait for instantly, but in most cases - free of charge.
From the computer was born the various spin offs. The laptop, the tablet, the smart phone, and any other hand held device that functions like a
computer. The these devices people are able to continue to play games and use programs even when not in front of their computer, and they do. It
allows people to indirectly keep in contact with people via chat and SMS messages rather than to talk with someone directly.
From computers and the Internet was born social networking. It has been implemented into nearly everything done on the Internet and other devices,
linking accounts, keeping in touch with people indirectly (once again), and even still, allowing more possibilities for people play endless games and
use endless computer programs anywhere in the world at any given time. And that - is what people do. That is what people think about.
Inward thinking was born when the outside world became too small and crowded. With ever landmass explored and everything seemingly having been done,
the computer allows people to enter what they feel is a new frontier. Yet it is nothing more than a giant webbed distraction for most. While some
people remain productive and use computers and Internet for work and to advance their lives in a positive way (this is mostly the older generations
who were not raised on computers), the others, the newer generations waste their lives away generally trying to make something of themselves in a
crowded virtual reality with no scope of the real world.
Kids these days are raised on computers. They lack discipline. They lack adventure. They lack imagination. The moment a kid is introduced to a
computer at a young age, gone are the dreams of being an astronaut or fire fighter. Gone are the dreams period. Most people are so accustomed now to
the idea of anonymous chatting and conversation with people over the Internet that they feel threatened or uncomfortable at the mere thought of a
stranger sparking up a conversation with them. They consider someone WEIRD for even doing so.
Worst of all is the action of inaction. The computers and Internet have provided a giant soapbox for the world to stand on and voice their opinions.
The only problem is that you are yelling into a crowd of yelling people, and in the end the message doesn't mean much at all. People still find
contentment in it. When it comes to things they are unhappy with, such as government, a large majority of people will jump to the internet to voice
their opinions but when it comes to actually taking action for what they believe in, they will never be found.