Good evening Pursuiters! Before I start with the next entry in the Social Technology series, I’d like to take the time and ask your opinion on my approach to this blog. Check out the fanpage on Facebook for more information.
Tonight’s post is the third addition to the series, A Deeper Look. In Part 1, some cons of social technology were mentioned. In Part 2, the potential of it, as well as the importance of networking were mentioned. Now it’s time to take a step back and combine both the pros and the cons and take a look at the social life of the past to put it all in perspective, as well as some more effects to consider.
After I got home from work tonight, I sat down in the living room and struck up a conversation with my Mom about social technology and asked her what it was like when she was a child when she wanted to hang out with friends. What she said completely validated a thought I had earlier, and that was that when our parents were children, they had to have a lot more planning than we did. (and certainly more than the kids ten years younger than us do!) They didn’t have cell phones, computers or any other source of instant communication that we grew up with. Can you imagine having to call up a friend on their home phone? Or calling up your girlfriend praying to God that her Dad doesn’t pick up? These are just a few of the problems that we did not have to deal with!
My Mom is currently attending college for Education and in the conversation we were having she went on to say how surprised she was that her classmates will do their schoolwork the day it is due. Now, this didn’t surprise me at all, as I was hugely guilty of this too. I brought up that it’s not procrastination that has increased, it’s the availability of resources, allowing procrastination to thrive and tempt people more than ever. It’s so easy to half-ass an essay now that we all have laptops glued to our bodies practically 24/7 and can type much faster than most people could ever dream of writing.
I also did a little bit of research and came across this article that brought up some fantastic points:
There are (at least) 4 negative side effects of technology
1) Elevated Exasperation
2) Deteriorated Patience
3) Declining Writing Skills
4) Lack of Physical Interactivity.
I chuckled when I read this part of the article, as a few people came to mind immediately. I feel that the media that we have integrated in our lives now greatly increase the stress put upon us because we are constantly engaged in activity. Video games were mentioned in the article and that is a HUGE contributor of stress! It’s something that gamers absolutely hate to hear and they flat out refuse this, but it really is true.. and I can say it because I am one of them! Sure you’re having fun, but inside you are stressing out about being the best, or winning, or being as efficient as possible, so when anything in the real world comes up you tend to get frustrated. (to varying degrees)
I can’t begin to comprehend how many games I’ve gone into where people just can’t take anything casually! I’ve reached the point in my life where when I game, it’s few and far between and it is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when people get emotional over something so meaningless. I have been successfully turning away from time-wasters and putting my focus on productive tasks, like this blog which I am really starting to love. I am well aware that productivity is relative, what is meaningless to one holds value to the next, that being said.
Another strong point. Instant gratification is so abundant now, that whenever anyone has to wait for anything they get all whiny! Oh no, my internet page is taking longer than 2 seconds to load. Dude! You were born into a period of time when you, unlike any other generation in existence, have access to an infinite amount of information and you’re complaining about it’s speed while you’re sitting there typing and clicking? Come on, show some gratitude.
This is certainly not limited to the internet. You can see this in action in many situations. You know what’s funny? When the guy behind you in the fast food line honks because he is impatient. Sometimes I just want to roll down my window, look them dead in the eye with a straight face and flip them off. I’d rather not get shot though.
Declining Writing Skills
This is the only point where I didn’t feel too strongly with. Sure, you got your people who are going to type “u” and other slang words into a messager service, but for the most part I feel like we know the difference between speaking in an educated manner and speaking to our friends. This post also mentions the fact that we do not know how to write in cursive. I don’t know about you, but I learned cursive in fourth grade. I never use it, but I could still write in it if I need to, but come on… who needs to write in cursive anymore, really?
Lack of Physical Interactivity
This is something I feel strongly about and covered in Part 1, to a much higher degree than I originally planned. Relying on digital means of communication is causing people to completely miss out on things like body language and tone which is a MAJOR part of communication! Unfortunately, this is probably not going to change, and will ultimately get worse…
So what are your thoughts on this piece? Do you agree or disagree with the article and/or my opinion?
Tomorrow will be the final piece of this series, where we will take a look at the possibilities of the world of tomorrow if these trends continue. (Should be fun!)