Technology: friend or foe?
It is said that we have an overall turn towards materialism, consumerism as a race and that may be why we as a race appear so cruel and selfish nowadays, seemingly less tolerant. The generations before us may have been no better (probably crueler when you look at human torture, but I wonder if on the day to day interaction level, were they more group oriented than we are today?) I wondered if the new “communications media” were partly responsible for it too. I mean we all say how video games and TV are desensitizing our children but in addition, can we blame our friend the Internet?
With SMS / Chat/ email and blogs our communications may be faster and you can reach a wider audience but there is little or no dissension. People may disagree but when one sends out an email or an sms, one can get the feeling that “I have said it… it is done, it must be correct” as there is no immediate argument. When (and if) you do receive a response it appears in the same format which appears a little less “real” and so may matter little to our psyche. Consider chatting for instance, or posting comments on blogs, you feel less inhibited to post your thoughts as the person at the other end is not really in front of you so you feel bold enough to say what you will. This false confidence could generate the boldness to think you are right in whatever you do. Also, once your thoughts are out there in sms you really do not know the person’s reaction and so can be quite smug in thinking whatever you said was correct or agreed with.
Basically all I wondered was if these avenues of communications were giving us false confidence into believing whatever we say or think is correct? Not seeing a “real” negative response to your thoughts may be making us bolder unnecessarily. Perhaps that is why the “me-ness” of a generation is so strong today. Perhaps this is why we may start to think our acts of inconsideration are ok. I know people throughout history have shown inconsideration but not in so many numbers (yes yes I know we have a larger world population now) but also, the elements of shame, guilt and remorse are missing now. That is what is truly alarming (to me at least). You will see people boldly speak of their misdeeds,
1. not recognizing that what they may be doing is incorrect for society
2. not really feeling any remorse once its been pointed out to them.
Also, this instant access to information and instant gratification through the Internet is making us less patient as a race. With SMS technology you can be in constant touch, but then you are gearing yourself for instant gratification and developing patience is overlooked entirely. This of course leads to a lot of crime and dissatisfaction when people feel they have a right to something and the right to it NOW. Technology may be good for the human condition in that we can address a lot more people’s concerns in less time and as far as treatments are concerned but is it good for the human in us? Just a thought, feel free to comment and disagree!!