Technology of Desocialization

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posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 11:47 AM
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Hi ATS,

I've got one important issue I would like to discuss with you guys ATM and I'm looking forward to hear from you guys perspectives.

(For those of you who doesn't feel like reading such a long post, immediately go to point B)

So here's how it goes:

POINT A
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I don't think I will surprise anyone by claiming that the world we live in today is overwhelmingly controlled by technology and materialism, at least for a vast majority of countries around the globe.
It is grealty magnificent in terms of possiblity but also very frightening.

The reason I oppose this duality is extremely important because it easily demonstrates the paradox of all living beings on planet earth: capable of marvelous and horrible things at the same time.
Although most species will do the 'horrible aspect' solely for survival and sustainment of their own specy, there is clearly something different about the reasoning of the human race.

What I mean here is that we are a conscious specy, aware of the choices we make and the impact they have on the environment, other living creatures and us. Too many times in history have we seen a great invention or idea turned into something dark and evil even though the main goal was to make us evolve and progress (let's just mention the discovery of the atom - and the creation of the atomic bomb).

Now I know a lot of people will say that it is a necessary step, that it is the only way to learn and move forwards into the long cycle of evolution. I would tend to agree with that statement because, you know, we have to put our hand into the fire to understand it is not meant to be touched directly, but rather be close to it.
However, this truth doesn't in any way diminish the importance of balance in life.
Balance in nature, in love, in wealth, in food, in entertainment, in work, in relationship, in physical exercice, etc.

My point is that we need equilibrium to move forward in life and this is true in everything you could come to think of.

Recently I've come to realize that in the modern world we have created for ourselves, everything is now done in one opposite or another. Nothing (or almost) is done in balance and harmony, just like Nature has teached us for so many centuries (and is still trying to do). Everything is pushed to the maximum (thanks to greed) to have the best benefits or productive curve. Even more than that, people whether live in the past or in the future. I do not know of a lot of people nowadays speaking openly about the importance of living the present moment in life. Who would have time anyway, when everything is going so fast and always faster?

POINT B
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So, that's where the main idea of my topic comes into place:
The technology we have today, and the way we use it, has already reached a point where it has exceeded our capacity to adapt. The abused use and creations we made out of it have obviously been done in one exteme to another. There has been absolutely no balance at all. It has evolved so fast it has completely blinded us to what was the original goal of technology in the first place, that is to say, making a world where it feels good to live and where it is easy to communicate with other people and also travel all around the world.

The way I see it, technology has completely separated us from other beings and even ourselves. Nature (and animals) has also been include in the let down. We are actively destroying it for the sake of human progress and in the pursuit of knowledge. But no matter how much we hurt Nature and the things around us, it will never be as much as the pain we inflict to ourselves. I see more and more people everyday being sucked into this huge fabrication of social networks (aka Facebook, Twitter, etc) and less and less people looking at each other in the eyes and smiling.
Not saying technology advancement itself is to blame, but rather the use we make out of it.

Let me give you 2 very simple examples of situations I've experienced recently. Both of them only in the last month.

#1
I'm walking in the park with one my good friend. We talk about anything and really appreciate looking at the night sky.
Suddenly, I see a young couple watching over for their little daughter, around 8 years old, sitting next to them... in a carousel (not sure of the exact word since english isn't my main language). A very normal sight for a girl this age, so what is wrong will you ask?

The fact is that this little girl was actually looking at her cellphone during the whole process of the roundabout. A cellphone at the age of 8, bought by their lovely parents. I don't think there is anymore to add to this story for you guys to understand my point...

#2
I'm in my school with some classmates, waiting for the teacher and the next class just in front of the closed door. I talk with two of my male friends when I decide to look around myself to suddenly realize that all five girls around me are looking silently at their cellphones. Shocked I say to them '' Hey girls, what is it about that boys talk and have fun while you girls are all looking at your dead screens, doing nothing? ''. Then, only one of the girls thought necessary to lift her head simply to smile and immediately get back on her useless business.
At this precise moment I thought to myself: ''WTFFFFFFFF, this can't be true''

And we could go on with personal stories like these until the end of time...


Now, I'm asking you this ATS,
what is going on in the world today? Have people really come to the point they do not want to interact with each other anymore?

What is it these new technologies offer us we find it appropriate to just don't give a !!!!! anymore? I could go on forever giving examples of how technology affects us in a negative way that it would take me all the night to just think of them.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying technology is bad or absolutely evil, but simply putting in perspective the way we use it in 2013 and where this might lead us in the next decades.

Are we seeing a technology of desocialization?

Please ATS,

enlight me,

StOrD.




posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by St0rD
 




Now, I'm asking you this ATS,
what is going on in the world today? Have people really come to the point they do not want to interact with each other anymore?
...
Are we seeing a technology of desocialization?


To one degree or the next, yes and I don't think it is by accident.

Briefly, when a large number of people share common goals and basic life-ideals, things like politics become secondary and they tend to work together for a common good. This runs contrary to power structure that seeks to create and sustain division and subdivision which, in the long term, benefits the power structure because it is secure enough to do pretty much as it damn well pleases.

Technology... the personal computer, the internet, the cell phone and the interconnectivity of them, works basically like a huge neural network where we are more like the Borg on Star Trek than independent life forms. This network is then used to create a colony where mass indoctrination can occur and then so, too, to identify those who don't take the programming. Those who do not connect to the preferred polar synapse are then quickly identified so that the hive mind can be directed against them.

So, yes... desocialization from the natural meaning.

IMESHO, that is



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 12:08 PM
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reply to post by St0rD
 


S&F!!

For English not being your language, you did a fine job presenting your thoughts.

Texting is one of those things that infuriates me when I am visiting with someone and I have to repeat myself because their head is buried in their phone. When I take my daughter out to dinner, I tell her, "The cell phone does not come out until we leave."

I also want to ad that with all of these gadgets that have been created (let's just start with a washing machine) to make our lives easier so that we have much more time for leisure purposes, yet most people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off complaining that there just isn't enough time.....

Families rarely sit down to even eat dinner together anymore, because of this going on and that going on.

I kind of have to shake my head when people refer to technology as a trigger to how we have evolved. I say IMO quite the opposite. Technology seems to have made humanity devolve. Perhaps we just haven't evolved enough to use this technology responsibly???



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 12:36 PM
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seeker1963
reply to post by St0rD
 


Texting is one of those things that infuriates me when I am visiting with someone and I have to repeat myself because their head is buried in their phone. When I take my daughter out to dinner, I tell her, "The cell phone does not come out until we leave."

I also want to ad that with all of these gadgets that have been created (let's just start with a washing machine) to make our lives easier so that we have much more time for leisure purposes, yet most people are running around like chickens with their heads cut off complaining that there just isn't enough time.....

Families rarely sit down to even eat dinner together anymore, because of this going on and that going on.


Thank you for this comment bro, you have highlighted one of the few problems that made me scratch my head recently.

I completely relate with you when you say it infuriates being with a friend who is burying his head into his cellphone. In fact, I think we can all relate to this because it happens to everyone nowadays.

You are SO right by claiming the paradox of having advanced machines which should logically lead us to have a LOT more free time but, in fact, the exact same opposite happens. It is almost like these big corporations only want us to spend this 'bonus free time' on working more and more and making this society advance in space and time.
This is truly sad, even more when you realize everyone know this but don't give a ...

And then you talk about family rarely eating dinner together anymore... this couldn't be more close to the truth. It has been at least 2 years now since I've not seen my mother eating dinner with my father and I. She is too busy watching her boring and useless TV shows, which seem to be infinite. There are so many different entertainment today that people are getting sucked in this void of sluggishness without even realizing it.

What could I add...



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 12:37 PM
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reply to post by St0rD
 


Your view of how I see things going in terms of technology is pretty much identical as I see it. Technology, while it can be an immensely powerful tool for socialization, is stripping away the actual face to face interaction that our human society has existed upon probably since the birth of humanity. I do not think this is a good thing as the risks are so high.

When we think of behaviors that take place through an alternate medium, such as a forum, video game, facebook, twitter and etc, how would one define or classify such behaviors? Sometimes, they can be very good (a meeting of the minds, kind of like here) and sometimes, they can be absolutely terrible. Some may argue that the latter is also normal for typical social interactions but more often than not, even the extremely impolite tends to be excused by "well, this is the internet". Such an excuse removes away the social conditioning that we've developed over the millenia for what it means to behave in a civilized society. In a face to face interaction, there will always be that ability to recognize the other long after the offense has been committed. On the internet, there is the shield of anonymity.

An example of this would be the recent abduction case of a young teenaged girl whose family was murdered by her abductor. Here is an individual which society would typically feel deep sympathy for but, instead through improper wording, the impression was adopted by some that she somehow was an accomplice to her abductors' crimes despite her not being arrested or charged herself by any legal authority. To this day, the comments beneath any article discussing this girl, her situation and recovery are frequently filled with hostile accusations against her. In a sense, through the use of the "social technologies", a portion of society is further victimizing a girl that has already been through hell simply because they can. When technology strips away our ability to feel empathy for another human being, that's a very disturbing trend indeed.

Like the case of witnessing a young girl on her phone on a carousel or the common sight of a family of 4 all on their phones at a restaurant, scenarios such as the above case of the abducted girl are also far too common. On my most grim days, I sometimes ponder whether or not technology is simply desocializing us or if it's also favoring towards a technological sociopathy through its nature.



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 01:19 PM
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WhiteAlice
reply to post by St0rD
 

When we think of behaviors that take place through an alternate medium, such as a forum, video game, facebook, twitter and etc, how would one define or classify such behaviors? Sometimes, they can be very good (a meeting of the minds, kind of like here) and sometimes, they can be absolutely terrible. Some may argue that the latter is also normal for typical social interactions but more often than not, even the extremely impolite tends to be excused by "well, this is the internet". Such an excuse removes away the social conditioning that we've developed over the millenia for what it means to behave in a civilized society. In a face to face interaction, there will always be that ability to recognize the other long after the offense has been committed. On the internet, there is the shield of anonymity.



I've also been thinking about this concept recently. The way people justify their disrespectful actions, comments, choice of words, with the 'only internet' argument. I believe this is never a valid argument knowing how much we relates to virtual interactions nowadays. And even if we wouldn't use the internet as much as we do today, it would still have an impact on people's live. It may seem banal and commonplace for some, but still, any social interactions we have throught virtual media can and will have an effect in one's mind.

The question we should ask to ourselves is, is it really 'only the internet', or in fact, it reflects how we really are deep within ourselves? Maybe it is really just that: anonymity gives us the opportunity to truly express ourselves.
Even trollers could have something hidden inside themselves they just don't want to acknowledge and are trying to express throught the internet. I say this because I've never feel the need to troll anyone in all my life... so what drives them?



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 02:51 PM
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St0rD

WhiteAlice
reply to post by St0rD
 

When we think of behaviors that take place through an alternate medium, such as a forum, video game, facebook, twitter and etc, how would one define or classify such behaviors? Sometimes, they can be very good (a meeting of the minds, kind of like here) and sometimes, they can be absolutely terrible. Some may argue that the latter is also normal for typical social interactions but more often than not, even the extremely impolite tends to be excused by "well, this is the internet". Such an excuse removes away the social conditioning that we've developed over the millenia for what it means to behave in a civilized society. In a face to face interaction, there will always be that ability to recognize the other long after the offense has been committed. On the internet, there is the shield of anonymity.



I've also been thinking about this concept recently. The way people justify their disrespectful actions, comments, choice of words, with the 'only internet' argument. I believe this is never a valid argument knowing how much we relates to virtual interactions nowadays. And even if we wouldn't use the internet as much as we do today, it would still have an impact on people's lives. It may seem banal and commonplace for some, but still, any social interactions we have through virtual media can and will have an effect in one's mind.

The question we should ask to ourselves is, is it really 'only the internet', or in fact, it reflects how we really are deep within ourselves? Maybe it is really just that: anonymity gives us the opportunity to truly express ourselves.
Even trollers could have something hidden inside themselves they just don't want to acknowledge and are trying to express through the internet. I say this because I've never feel the need to troll anyone in all my life... so what drives them?


This is actually something I've kind of studied and attempted to resolve over the last 15 years through social experimentation. Sounds weird, I know, but as a very good female fps gamer, I tend to get targeted by a lot of these people. What I have attempted to do is narrow down the source of what drives those individuals who would be very quick to verbally attack another human being over the internet. The conclusions that I have come to is that these types of individuals tend to construct an "image" of the person who they are attacking. In other words, they let their imaginations get the better of them and self create a desirable image of someone who deserves (in their mind) to be attacked. Curiously enough, when I deliberately destroyed the mental image through the use of compassion, 99% of the time they back down and apologize.

Coincidentally enough, I actually had an opportunity to put this "mental image" v. "reality" hypothesis to the ultimate test when I was able to confront a group of young men who, through grouping, had been reinforcing their view of me amongst each other. I was able to actually physically stand before them and observe their responses as we were all at a very large LAN. They were incredibly polite. Some of the worst perpetrators were clearly shameful and unable to even meet my eyes. One looked terrified and only one--a young man who I had had limited online interaction with--acted cocky and was actually a pretty nice guy. The rest were ashamed. They oozed it and wouldn't you know it? They never bothered me again. Before meeting me physically, these young men went out of their way to make my online life miserable. After meeting me, it all stopped.

Face to face interactions are the normal way that we have long communicated and my theory is that, when confronted with a lack of face to face, we tend to construct a "face" to fulfill that hole within online social interaction. What we construct, however, depends on who we are and how we perceive the other person through those interactions. We also tend to stereotype so it's quite likely that that also gets added in. How many times have you ever seen someone online describing another as "being a fat loser with no life living in their mother's basement"? If you are against someone online, then it's very easy to construct any image of your online nemesis that you want as a way to further your vilification of the other.

How much does stereotyping come into play? That was yet another thing that I wanted to put to the test. I had heard that I was "fat and ugly" an extreme number of times by online bullies or "trolls" when I'm actually supposed to be quite pretty and I'm the only one who ever thinks I'm fat in reality (lol--typical!!). Steam allows the use of a public avatar so I switched my avatar to a picture of myself. What happened? Nearly all "fat and ugly" comments stopped and the one time where the person still said I was fat, I actually had an entire server stating that the guy preferred anorexics. Interestingly enough though, the woman who actually inspired me to do this was a young woman who was definitely on the chubby side and rather homely in appearance. Curiously enough, not a single soul on the server attacked her for her appearance. I've seen this time and time again and it's absolutely fascinating. When confronted with an actual (and likely) image of a person, it both reduces specific types of attacks and attacks overall.

These little experiments are precisely what drives my theory that, in some cases, the attacker constructs a desirable image for the purpose of further vilification of another in the absence of actual face. However, a simple picture can still be used to make other assumptions about the individual in some cases, which are still strongly stereotype driven. For instance, I'm pretty so obviously I've led a very easy life and know nothing about reality. Self-constructed image of another human being, largely based on stereotyping, is still rife even when the provision of an image occurs.

While this kind of behavior, at this time, may not exist in physical social interactions as they are against social norm, I question how long those particular social norms will continue to exist as we continue to spend more and more time online. The scariest question is whether these kind of online interactions are, in fact, people revealing their "true" faces. I tend to think it is. Like you, I've never been one to feel the urge to bully another in any venue. If we look at it as pure bullying behavior, then what drives it is a lack of self confidence and a need to feel power over others. Whether it is as common as it may seem, I find questionable as you can have 100 interactions that are very normal but it's always the ones that are offensive or shocking that are more likely to stand out in the mind as a scratch against the psyche and expectation of what is "good" social behavior.



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by St0rD
 



I've also been thinking about this concept recently. The way people justify their disrespectful actions, comments, choice of words, with the 'only internet' argument. I believe this is never a valid argument knowing how much we relates to virtual interactions nowadays. And even if we wouldn't use the internet as much as we do today, it would still have an impact on people's live. It may seem banal and commonplace for some, but still, any social interactions we have throught virtual media can and will have an effect in one's mind.

The question we should ask to ourselves is, is it really 'only the internet', or in fact, it reflects how we really are deep within ourselves? Maybe it is really just that: anonymity gives us the opportunity to truly express ourselves.
Even trollers could have something hidden inside themselves they just don't want to acknowledge and are trying to express throught the internet. I say this because I've never feel the need to troll anyone in all my life... so what drives them?


There you go again making perfect sense!

Let's simplify what you said.

I will use myself as an example.

I am not perfect nor will I ever be perfect! But I strive to become a better person.

Let's just use my behavior at times on ATS for an example......

There are times I get into arguments with people on ATS, and as much as I try to be civil in the arguments, I allow my ego to take over. What happens to me when I allow myself to behave and act so badly towards others is that my guilt prevents me from having a good nights rest. NOT because someone made me angry, but because I allowed myself to be sucked into a debate and behaved in a manner that was embarrassing to ME!

I knew better, but yet I said it anyways.......

Some people don't have the ability to look at their behavior and admit to themselves they behaved badly. They choose to blame those whom CAUSED THEM TO BEHAVE BADLY!



posted on Oct, 27 2013 @ 03:45 PM
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The duality of our technology in that it can do good or evil and the problems that develop due to coming to rely on them is determining our fate as a species. Capitalism and the free market sound like fine ideas until you realize they are what is driving this advance in technology.

Due to it's complexity this new technology requires specialization of labor and a worldwide network of support. Humankind has never faced this problem before. You have wisdom to see how this not only cripples us as individuals but as a species. Even worse our society is demanding in many ways that we conform to this technology and become dependent upon it ourselves. There is no "opting out" of computers, cellphones, gps, rfid chips, etc. etc. We are required to carry identification, required to submit personal information to data bases. We cannot participate economically without the use of credit cards, banking institutions or the internet. All of this is being implemented under the guise of "normalcy" beginning with gaming consoles for the youngest of us then computers in schools, cell phones and texting among friends and then on to the world of work or higher education - both requiring more and more technology.
The machine has become our "partner" in all we do yet somebody owns the rights to that machine and it isn't us.

Lyrics from a song written 25 years ago called Consumation seem applicable:

Use, use, use
That's all we do
Expend the Earth - expend yourself
No, this ain't the real thing - it's a # ing horror show,
and the smell of industry is evil beyond words
We're knee deep in trash and no one gives a damn
cuz the people in your government are glad to let it happen
Cause everybody stays employed while the corporations grow
creating spew that we all buy to make this horror show
Reality

I want to wake up but I can't close my eyes - I can see my fate now I'm becoming civilized
Made of plastic, made of steel, made to the order, made not to feel
Made not to think, made not to see, made in to something, that was not meant to be.

I have been consumed


This can only end one way. There is no techo-utopia waiting for us just a few more inventions away. Each new technology we create adds one more burden on the environment, requires more raw materials and minerals to make, more oil to manufacture and distribute, more coal or nuclear power to give it electricity.

Either humanity will rebel against the technology and it's owners or we will be enslaved by it and reduced horrifically in numbers to reduce competition for the resources to maintain the system. Natural selection has given the edge in evolution to those capable of feeling no empathy, who can kill without qualm or question, whose instinct for self-preservation trumps all. Good luck making a workable society inhabited with people of that mindset.
edit on 27-10-2013 by Asktheanimals because: corrections



posted on Oct, 28 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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reply to post by WhiteAlice
 


Thank you for your comment WhiteAlice, I found it very pleasant to read.

What you just wrote about the challenge girls are facing on the internet as we speak, is a very good example of how the virtual social interactions are driving people into a direction that is higly questionnable.

I think with these examples of yours, you succeeded in demonstrating how people would and will react differently when faced with the true reality of things. It is so easy to say something behind a dead screen, but another thing to say it (and think) face to face. Probably that those boys you saw at the LAN were only driven by the 'normal and popular scheme of thinking' happening on the online games against girls right now. My guess is that it will get better in the next years, seeing how girls are pushing hard to make it stop.

Also, good to see you understand things as I do about people 'trolling' in virtual medias.



posted on Oct, 28 2013 @ 11:48 PM
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When I was 15, I wrote a song called 'Rushing' that was I guess my sci-fi vision of the future. Bear in mind now that this was 1979-80 and I was only a teen, but apparently some things are intuitively obvious. The second part of the initial verse sort of addressed this de-socialization effect you're seeing, perhaps. As I recall I'd never even seen a computer at the time though I'd read of them, so the helmet idea might have been overdone but if you add wearable eye-interfaces coming soon, perhaps in a way it'll come to be. Here's the first of it:


Used to be an airport, now it's just a port
For spacing sub and hovercraft, it's built up like a fort
Protection against plastic guns, protection against bombs
They radar all the baggage and they're proton scanning everyone

Inside I watch the children, going to some elsewhere place
Their vacant eyes are scaring me, the vapidness of face
They wear the common helmet shows, sights and music spin their head
So alive in fantasy that they can't see they're dead

And it's a rush for technology
A push toward a future time
We're flooded now with great ideas
For drowning in our own design


(from 'Rushing' - RedCairo)



posted on Oct, 29 2013 @ 09:07 PM
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reply to post by St0rD
 


The intention wasn't meant to say that it's solely a girl problem but it just so happened to be the venue in which I saw it most clearly and was able to do my little "experiments" to test for various responses. I think it could easily be applied to any online interaction and with probably the same factors involved. The underlying elements will still be the same.

I worry that the further we continue down this road while staring more frequently at a screen than another's face, the worse this could very well get. I've already seen a couple instances where people have pretty much engaged in similar behavior in a face to face encounter that you would expect to see online (including a guy at a meat counter that was shouting 'bacon!!"--my daughter actually asked me if he was mentally ill. I told her that he just spent too much time on Facebook and forgot how real people interact.). The lines get blurred and that makes sense because, regardless of whether an interaction is online or face to face, one is still interacting with people.



posted on Nov, 3 2013 @ 04:59 PM
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seeker1963
reply to post by St0rD
 

Some people don't have the ability to look at their behavior and admit to themselves they behaved badly. They choose to blame those whom CAUSED THEM TO BEHAVE BADLY!


Agreed.

This is the problem with most people today. They do not ever get a time when they aknowledge themselves some time and get to face their inner truths directly, always keeping the mind busy and satured. There is no room for personnal changes with this mentality.

The first step to advance spiritually and profoundly in life is to acknowledge our own problems and hidden truths. Face them and work on them. However, rather than that, they will put their own frustrations and defeats upon the shoulders of other people. You just have to think about the irony of people getting mad at people for personnality traits they even have themselves, but still just coudn't see it.
edit on 3-11-2013 by St0rD because: (no reason given)




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