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Technology, evolution or the downfall of human social interaction?


I had seen this video circulating the web the past week, after watching it I had so much I wanted to say but rather than start a Facebook debate I figure I would voice my opinions in a way that don’t get lost in a mirage of abusive comments. If you watch the video you might think that the author is being hypocritical given the media he is using the output his voice. You might agree, you might not I don’t really think it matters in all honesty.

What the video made me wonder is this, are we now evolving using technology? Rather than needing to know everything about a subject now, we have a vast sea of factual information in the palm of our hands. We don’t need to retain that knowledge but instead we practice how to manipulate the knowledge into usage. There will always be a place in this world for people who do have brains geared up for data retention, we will always need people who understand in-depth one area without reference though.

Back to the point at hand however, the video seems to be suggesting that using technology excessively is reducing the potential for opportunities in “real life”. Is that really the case? Let’s take the lost person as an example, so the likelihood is that you use your phone to navigate these days if you are lost. In this example the guy doesn’t meet his “soul mate” because he doesn’t ask her for directions. There are lots of opportunities to meet people online, it’s true that this scenario could happen but you could say the same about any situation without technology. It’s a should have, would have, could have mentality and while I agree that I think it’s a nice idea in truth you never know when you with cross paths with the important people in your life. There is nothing to say that won’t be online in a chat room, in the street, on Facebook or other social media.

I think the we are evolving through the use of technology vastly seen in the use of the internet, I say this because we have access to a variety of information (accurate and not so), we have the ability to connect with others across the world, we have a world that never sleeps open for communication, we can work all hours of the day, we speak our minds without any though for the consequences of our actions, everyone has a voice and can be heard if they scream loud enough or invoke the masses to help them. It’s a medium in which the very best and the very worse of human kind can be seen for all to see, I’ve heard so many times people so surprised at the way people talk to each other online. But I always find it amusing because just consider, I’m sure people have been talking about others all along, the only difference is whether it’s in public or not.

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Albert Einstein

The other side of this of course is that we only have a limited amount of hours in the day, time spent boosting our online personas is  time not spent with the physical world. I enjoyed as a child playing outdoors, but I also enjoyed playing games online and social media in my teens. What I love about our time right now is the choice, if you want to go play outdoors you can. Obviously children who stay in playing games and talking to their friends online must find that easier or more enjoyable than going outside.

It seems like we are on the edge of learning to live differently, we no longer need to learn the roads we drive, the streets we walk, we are always just at the end of a phone ready awaiting for your call. The main theme being always connected, whether that be to people, systems, information we are no longer ever truly alone and yet physically we can be. Learning to live with yourself physically is the new challenge, but people are evolving to learn to accept that physical proximity is not required online.

Personally I like a balance, but I don’t know how long that balance will be able to hang on until one wins over the other. I am excited by the future, the projects that are currently being considered. I believe that technology is going to aid health care (nanotechnology, new prosthesis limbs) and it seems only fitting that the way we socialize and communicate will change along with that. How long before your phone is no longer required and instead we move towards biotechnology and the device is no longer a physical device but part of our body. There will be no device to put down and the database of the internet will be accessible to all, surely this is evolution whether you agree with the direction or not?