Technology And The Culture Of Isolation

The discoveries witnessed in the past decade have been startling, to put it mildly. From the smart phones to the amazing wonder that comes with everything 'I', we are in a technological watershed that even Newton and Einstein would have been astounded. However, with the glitz and untrammeled nature of this evolution comes unintended consequences. Psychologists contend that with the advent of new technologies, our interpersonal skills have been affected. As it has been observed, new media does not create loneliness, it reveals it. In today's world, so many people prefer the option of being alone as long as a gadget or tablet is within reach. We don't find a need of visiting friends or actually meeting people in reality. Sociologists Miller McPherson and Matthew Brashears in a study carried out in America confirmed that technology has contributed to social isolation and impairment in human relations. Society's increased reliance on these services as central forums of social interaction is detrimental at best. In more ways than one, technology has affected our sense of reason and behavioural skills. As if to portray it cantankerous nature in solving societal ills, recent studies have showed that emerging technologies have grossly affected our usage of the English language. The use of colloquial words, abbreviations and symbols, have dealt a blow to how we actually use the language in the formal and corporate setting. Little wonder it was reported of a young man that went for an interview, and the first word he told the waiting panel when he came in was 'sup'. We have become the headphones generation, preferring to listen to our music in silence than utter a single word of acknowledgement to a stranger, perhaps even a friend. Hellos and goodbyes have been replaced with head nods and fist bumps. Emotions are trapped in the ecstasy of our BBM. Our ipads have displaced the need for a Personal Assistant or even a Secretary. Smart phones have replaced the need for real human interactions, and a person's voice no longer needs to be heard as long as his cell phone shows five bars of connection. The unimagined fear remains that technology could finally extinct us from our sense of reality and detach us from true humanity.


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