It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Rise of Inward Thinking; The Declination of Technology

page: 1

log in


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 crazy.

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.

posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 11:18 AM
Thus is the action of inaction, and the computers allow us the ability in many ways to FEEL like we are doing something with our lives when in reality, when we are sitting in front of these screens we really aren't. This isn't reality.


It's circuits and wires and metal and layers of plastic, and enough electricity to kill you instantly. Reality is out in the world around you and it takes more than an ounce of outward thinking to realize that all of it has an impact on you, and no matter how much time you spend on a computer, unless you actually do something - you aren't going to leave any legacy behind, whatsoever.

I feel sorry for web page designers. One day, their entire life's work is going to be gone and there is going to be nothing to show for it. Hell, all it will take is one oddball ray from the sun to fry every computer on this planet and then all of this will be gone. All my writings, all my words, all my accounts, hell, all my debt. Its all on computers today, could be gone tomorrow.

I work on computers for a living, but they aren't my life. My life is in other things and it took my career to realize how much of a detriment these pieces of technology really are to those who don't know any better. If I could say anything at all it would be to not let your children grow up to be the inward thinkers who know nothing but computers and the Internet. Being where I am I know just how fragile this technology really is, and you may say or believe that it will be around forever but I guarantee you it won't. Whether it be by the hands of men who take it away from us or it be nature that destroys it, it can and will happen.

Don't allow your children to grow up not knowing anything of the world or how to survive in it without these pieces of technology. Allow them to embrace the ideas of outward thinking, meeting new people, using their imaginations, creating things with their hands, learning to do things that aren't EASY; otherwise, you just set them and all the future generations up for failure.

Just wanted to give credit to the topic The Computer and New Technoogy is DESTROYING Our Society by bluestar.ranch. I had posted this on Facebook about a month ago, but their topic inspired me to post mine on here.
edit on 27-2-2013 by TheNewRevolution because: spelling

posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 11:23 AM
Very well written and thought through.
I have to say I agree with your observations.

My only hope is kids have to see this through.
Meaning maybe they'll reach the end of the Internet
metaphorically and realize they need more than Zeros and Ones
to be fulfilled . All generations since the industrial revolution have had
to deal with invention. This age is the toughest of all in my opinion as far as distraction.
But maybe in a few generations we'll come full circle and they will play outside
in the sunshine while learning and growing a garden.
Well done OP.

posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 11:50 AM
I appreciate the effort of the OP, but I disagree almost entirely.

The 1950s were NOT a time of outward thinking. "Coloreds Only" water fountains is considered outward thinking? No, it's incredibly narrow and divisive.

The computer is bringing the world together. A future is on the way where there are no countries, no undeserved pride for the land your mother birthed you on. No sexism, racism, or hard prejudice. And the computer is a major part of that.

People still travel and work with their hands. I'd like to see education systems encourage mechanical know-how, but that's another topic. I have a feeling your community is full of upper-middle class white people whose concept of parenting is buying the latest iPhone a week after launch, to teach their kid a lesson. Sadly, those people reinforce the nose-in-their-phone stereotype, and that stereotype transcends race.

I'd suggest spending more time OUTSIDE your own community and see how great technology really is when it's not used for frivolous BS all day like tweeting a "cute pair of boots" or Facebook games. People who can't afford college or have a full-time job as a parent can now get a proper education online. The world is progressing, maybe that scares you because your community is not. Embrace it, accept it, and make a positive future.

posted on Feb, 27 2013 @ 12:16 PM
My Grandmother would entertain us with stories about how they would "Gather" around the radio and listen to hours of broadcasting!

Now we flip on the radio to get some background music going. Do you see where I am going with this?

You are right computers can be a distraction. But I think soon, perhaps 10 years maybe less they will be just like toasters, and radios and TV's just another device and we begin to create again.

There are 1,000's of innovators right now creating things virtually that are brought into the "Real" world. Right now we are just enamored still by a new form of communication and sometimes you have look inward before you can look outward...

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 12:13 AM
reply to post by DaTroof

That is what I was thinking, through rose colored clases tinted with nostalgia you could ignore the fire hoses and German shepherds.

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 01:48 AM
I think your insights on modern technology are valid. At the same time, I observe that the path of evolution american culture took is not the same as modern cultures all over the world!

I moved to France and found the type of socially conscious, conformist, extrospective focus we used to have in the fifties (or at least as far as I can discern we had- I was not born yet).

It seems to me that the big detour began with the rise of the Baby Boomer generation and the Cold War.
The combination of these two influenced a great rise in narcissism and individualist focus that broke apart the cultural glue.

The government and public school systems set on on pushing forward individualist drives to an extreme, in hopes that woudl defuse any possibility of people being vulnerable to Communism... this largely repressed social instincts and drives, which may have had the effect desired, but also the effect of making people less cohesive within their own society as well!

Then we had the Baby Boomers that were brought up in a secure conformist environment, strongly nurtured and indulged, who sought to break out of the limits and explore individuality to it's extremes....

Their children, the X generation, were largely neglected and unwanted, grew up not expecting much from the exterior world or others- "turning within" became the main source of security, trusting only oneself the motto, and we mostly didn't learn any social structures of gesture and exchange.

As one of those, I know I was not able to teach my kids things like how to be part of a team, what is the appropriate way to address and respond to people, what is polite and what is not, how to be outgoing.
I couldn't, I don't know that stuff. I love my computer. And my reader. And my phone that does texting so I don't have to speak with others or go see them in person.

In my case, I was lucky I raised them in a country where social adhesiion is taught to kids outside and by my husbands family, so they learned that. But if I had stayed in the US, they would have been limited to my hermit-like wild ways.
edit on 28-2-2013 by Bluesma because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 01:52 PM
reply to post by DaTroof

For every positive there are three negatives. For every person using technology for good and for actually advancement, there are 10 sheep doing exactly as you described. And it isn't something that is confined to upper class white neighborhoods, perhaps you need to get out of your community as well.

The world being together isn't necessarily a good thing. Competition and hardship drives ingenuity and invention. If technology led to a united world utopia, there would be no drive for people to create better products. We are seeing the early results of that today. Actual useful inventions as compared to inventions that could better society are far outnumbered on a yearly scale. The people instead focus on invention and ingenuity to distract and entertain rather than to advance.

People do work with their hands, but there is definitely a correlation to technology diminishing that number over time. To deny that would be to deny things such as industrialism to the very core. Should the time come where electricity is ever a meager resource as I have explained is not so difficult to occur, this current world would be up crap creek without a paddle, with only the few who still maintain their survival instincts and skills able to survive in such a dog eat dog world.

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 02:00 PM
reply to post by Bluesma

I can probably agree with you. I have not been outside the US and as I said, I cannot speak for other cultures. I am simply sickened by my own.

I too am a product of generation x and believe greatly in individualism, however I see this world and I know that an answer to many problems would be the rebirth of small community structures that have seemed to die away as technology grew ever more wild. There would be no need to government welfare programs or people losing their homes, because there was once a time where people banded together to help one another in their community.

Not the only person that people want to help in America is themselves. They want to sit in front of their computers and televisions when at home and then they are out, they want to sit in front of their phones and ignore the rest of humanity around them - INCLUDING all of the problems that you can blatantly see if you weren't throwing the distraction in front of your face.

Sometimes I believe they realize that it is a distraction and they do it intentionally, so that they don't have to face the world around them. But if that is the case, then I call people cowards and selfish at best. It is much easier to look at an iPhone 24/7 then stare at the foreclosed homes, the endless billboards and advertisements, the people on the streets, the closed businesses, and the general run down atmosphere that America has become - but it is only going to get worse so long as people continue to live inside of their dream land.

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 02:00 PM

I think you have summed up the current state and general direction of the Western culture with an impressive degree of accuracy. I myself suffer and perpetuate some of the faults of the tech-centered culture. The only problem is this: the general public genuinely prefers this lifestyle (particularly the younger generation) to their perceived alternative: which is a return to pre-digital technology/entertainment. And honestly, I don't think many people will be willing to give up the comfort of the virtual world. It just isn't human nature.

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 02:18 PM
It's a form of escapism. People get online or play video games to escape the mundane. I was long against video games because I didn't value them, but did just as bad researching a million different things online and not connecting too well with my local community.

Recently I've decided that I'm so disgusted with society and people in general, that I'm going to give into even more escapism and purchase a PS4 when it comes out this November. I don't care to try and fight to enlighten people who just don't comprehend or care about what I'm saying.

Introverted thinking has been around for a very long time. Extroverted thinkers still do their thing and interact with the dumbed down society. That's fine. I'll leave them be. Oh, BTW, I still walk up to strangers and strike a conversation as if it's normal. Freaks some people out, while others feel it to be rather refreshing. Just depends on the individual, and what kind of day they're having.

posted on Feb, 28 2013 @ 02:21 PM

Originally posted by nomnom
It's a form of escapism. People get online or play video games to escape the mundane. I was long against video games because I didn't value them, but did just as bad researching a million different things online and not connecting too well with my local community.

Recently I've decided that I'm so disgusted with society and people in general, that I'm going to give into even more escapism and purchase a PS4 when it comes out this November. I don't care to try and fight to enlighten people who just don't comprehend or care about what I'm saying.

Introverted thinking has been around for a very long time. Extroverted thinkers still do their thing and interact with the dumbed down society. That's fine. I'll leave them be. Oh, BTW, I still walk up to strangers and strike a conversation as if it's normal. Freaks some people out, while others feel it to be rather refreshing. Just depends on the individual, and what kind of day they're having.

Hmm, yeah that is something to think about. I don't quite connect with the "culture" of my local community, so I have to flee to online forums for stimulating and thoughtful conversation. However, as you pointed out, drifting online isn't exactly healthy--I have come to believe. So, I am trying to find my escape though Nature rather than people/community. Although, there isn't much nature that hasn't already been paved over and commercialized for the public, right?

posted on Mar, 1 2013 @ 09:34 AM
reply to post by TheNewRevolution

I think you are right, and even if I can percieve these things, I continue to catch myself very much a part of this isolationism.

Maybe it is this aspect of our current modern society that fuels the doom fantasies?
Some part of us hoping all this modern technology will be blown away and we'll be forced to get in touch with each other again.....

top topics


log in