Burnout on the network…

I may not be alone here: The information age offers too much.  In the world of text messages, ever-present wireless access, smart phones and the ability to plug in just about anywhere, it’s almost a luxury to go off grid.

We’ve become a society of social animals, the problem is, actual human contact is reducing.  We’re content to text away mercilessly instead of actually picking up the phone and calling someone.  Heck, instead of walking next door to talk to your neighbor, just drop ’em a line on Facebook.  I know couples that IM each other while on laptops in different rooms of their home.

All this for…convenience?  I’m not exactly an extrovert myself, I know I’m naturally inclined to entertain myself without the company of others, but isn’t there something intrinsically wrong here?

We have devalued human contact to the point of being content with tweets, texts and posts.  Human contact now is no longer worth the effort to go see someone when you can just spew some binary at them.  We’ve fostered a culture of laziness.  Let your thumbs do the talking.  By increasing the number of ways which we have to contact each other, what’s actually being said has reduced in value.  Talking to a friend is no longer meeting somewhere for lunch, it’s a few quick dashed-off texts in between spurts of work.  It’s considered a conversation to exchange a few posts on Facebook…and what are we exchanging?  A few funny photos, the occasional link, something funny that someone else said.

What happens in a power outage?  Hypothetical situation, the power goes out for a week.  Do you know your neighbors well enough to be supported by them and trust them with your safety?  Do you trust them enough to help them without fearing they’ll take advantage of you?  How long could you go without a computer, your cell phone, a TV?  When was the last time you sat down and enjoyed a book from cover to cover?

I’ve backed out of Facebook for a while and I’m writing more here in an effort not only to improve my literary skills, but in the hopes that a few of you will join me.  This is really just using another facet of the overall problem, but it’s a step toward quality instead of quantity.

– A.J.

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