Friday, May 22, 2009

mankind gives life to machine!

before the sudden burst of technological advancements mankind had to communicate using old fashion methods of 'talking face to face' & interpreting the body language presented which are both now as we know a barbaric and primitive form of interpersonal communication.

now that we have deemed it obsolete we have to issue a new set of rules that go along with our newly formed communicational evolution. it seems to me you can NOT take the ‘old outdated ways of communication’ and apply it to the new way of computerized advancement.

for instance: my brother was giving me his honest opinion in an email of something i created. even though it was a negative opinion i appreciated it because i would much rather brutal honesty then yes men. because i didn’t email him back right away, because i was working on something else, he took lack of response as a sign that i was upset or mad.

tsk tsk paul for thinking that we live in the barbaric days where if i was silent after you said something negative in a face to face conversation that the ‘body language’ (as it was known to primates) would infer that i was upset. but that doesn’t apply to the computer age. if you email me back please wait no set amount of time as i may be on twitter, youtube, myspace, or facebook living ‘real life’ and i will get back to your email in due time.

cell phones: when having a face to face conversation with another human apparently texting/cell phone calls DO TAKE PRESEDENT. listen if the person your with in-person really cared about you they wouldn’t have monopolized your time by asking you to go to lunch or coffee, they would have befriended you on a social network and allow you to see 160 characters of their life in short doses.

to be honest though, technology is getting to me and i feel i am at the point where i want to rebel against the whole system and actually meet people. we have gone too far in many many ways. no joke, just this week a man killed his x for changing her facebook page from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘single’!!! really???? have we given our computers such life that it dictates our emotional responses?

we have given life & breath to machines, no longer to we engage people but tell our computer how we feel in hopes of hearing others feelings through there machine as well. people fall in love, break up, talk, respond, and engage without ever meeting the other person! does anyone else find this unnatural?

in the 50’s everyone was clean cut and their children in the 1960’s rebelled and were liberal and 'free'. the 90’s rebelled against the 80’s etc. its just a cycle of life. i wonder if our future children will rebel against us by actually walking outside and having personal contact with other humans. wouldn’t that be crazy????

-stephen

IRONY: here i just wrote this and am about to post this on my online journal (or blog as we call it), then go to twitter to make sure everyone knows about it. this ladies and gentlemen is the definition of hypocrite in case you didn’t know.

73 comments:

Caitlin said...

Technology should supplement communication, not replace it.
We should be thankful that advances like Twitter and Facebook give us the tools to connect with people that we might otherwise not have contact with, but the minute we replace face-to-face contact with these virtual relationships, we sacrifice a part of what it is to be humans. Yes, we may have the brainpower to construct these computers, but if we don't exercise the compassion necessary to maintain "real world" relationships than we really become no better than the machines we create.

Mattie said...

Amen!

Rachel said...

Interesting post. Modern technology seems to cater to those who would rather take the "easy way" in communication, rather than investing their time and energy in actual, face-to-face relationships with their friends. Plus the fact that it's much easier to fool people into thinking you're something you're not if they're getting their "information" from a page of text rather than spoken words, tones of voice, facial expression, posture, etc.

Though, I must say, the above description applies to me much more than I'd like to admit. If you were to ask me about it, I'd try to justify it by saying that I'm no good at verbally expressing my thoughts, and that it's so much easier to, say, apologize to a friend via e-mail - which I could proof-read and edit so that it sounds better - rather than picking up the phone and having to deal with it if I end up sounding like an idiot. However, thinking about it now... have I taught myself to depend on technology, rather than actually trying to learn to communicate?

More Than Alive said...

It's true... the social status quo has changed.

About 6 months ago I messaged a woman that commented on this blog and just let her know how I appreciated and valued her opinions. Since then, she's become one of my best friends... it's extremely odd how we can form close friendships without ever meeting somebody. This is definately a positive effect of this change in technology...

On the other hand, I think the great traditions that used to hold up our country have been somewhat tainted by the advances of technology. For example, pornography has ruined millions of lives and families...men now text to ask you out on a date (not cool guys :-))...family relationships have suffered as well (more technology=more interest in entertainment than family)

In all honesty, it'd be extremely hard for me to live without texting, emailing, the internet, etc...but, I'm sure I'd be a lot less stressed...

Anonymous said...

I think you're too quick to jump to a negative and critical view. I would think that you would value to capabilities that technology provides you as you travel so often.

I have lived in many different places throughout my life and find using online tools such as Facebook or Twitter as an amazing way for me to know how my friends on the other side of the country are.

And I find value in the ability to receive a simple text from a friend I have not talked to in a long time. The text doesn't replace an actual outing but when life separates you from those who you love it is so highly valued.

Technology is not my substitute for having face-to-face relationships but my bridge to keep past adventures and current ones woven together.

Chris said...

I think it's scariest when someone in the car next to you is texting on the highway and they're veering closer and closer to you with each key and there's nowhere for you to go!!...This has happened to me several times, and I'm still here to post about it.

And BTW, you're not a hypocrite...this is life now, so to speak, in the big city!

Chris

sui said...

I agree. wouldn't it be amazing if our teenagers in the future actually talked to each other in person? I'm hoping for it. while modern technology certainly has made some things easier, on the other hand we're becoming ironically disconnected from each other.

iwanttoplayguitarlikejoeymilligan said...

Yeah. :)

Escalus said...

I think it all comes down to what "Anonymous" said. While I think it's indisputable that technology is taking the place of valuable "face time", it also is amazing in letting you keep in touch with old friends when time and life move you far away from one another.

I used to have many online friends, in my younger days. I firmly believed, having experienced fully both sides of the fence, that those friendships do not compare to face to face relationships. That doesn't make them worthless, though. After all, Steven, I believe that I am having a meaningful conversation with you right now. In my opinion though, it just doesn't compare to the depth of having this conversation face to face over coffee in some random Starbucks. When you speak online, you can say anything and be anyone. It's not hard to open yourself up when you're hiding behind the impenetrable wall of an online pseudonym and a computer screen. When you're face to face with someone, there's nothing protecting you: you have to trust them and have faith in yourself to open yourself up. And that, quite badly put, is what I believe makes the connection more meaningful: the mutual trust that has to go into creating it.

It is a bit of a paradox. I would never call online conversations or friendships worthless, yet I believe they lack the depth of the same thing "in real life". Take it for what you will.

ted said...

I LOVE THIS POST! technology is just frustrating and gets in the way of people having real, authentic relationships! (of course, irony posting this online)

i would love to hear your thoughts on texting, i absolutely abhor it. i was ask to prom, via text. my friend was just asked out this past weekend, via text.

some people have become pros at switching between aim, facebook, myspace, and texting continuously! how can you even follow that? instead, people receive a response, look too much (or too little) into it and then some unintended reaction ensues.

i used to love technology and social networking, and they do have their pluses, like blogging here or when i'm away at college, i talk to my family through myspace a lot more than i probably would just calling once or twice a week.

now i see that technology is just starting to get in the way as we become more obsessed. i won't lie, when i've got nothing to do, i check facebook half a dozen times a day. before this new fascination i probably would have read a book, gone outside, volunteer somewhere, actually do something productive!

it's a sad plight that's we've misinterpretted as a revolution.

ChristinaTheAnomalous said...

That....was....the shizz. haha Thanks for making my day. I totally agree! I think that's partly why I went through my "Indie music phase". I'd only listen to underground bands and wouldn't download music. I STILL prefer cds or records, (though that seems very weird since I'm a teenager...) but technology is a blessed curse if that makes sense. Great post!

Cori said...

About 2 months ago i fasted myself from all my "online communication devices," facebook, twitter, wordpress, myspace. I did this for a month. I was going to put more time in my life for God and face to face relationships. I would spend more time sitting on my computer talking to people than actually going out and being with them. Not being on showed me how stress free life really could be. Not worrying about what "he said to her" or what "they said about me" or anything like that was nice. Life just went on. Seeing people day to day was generally more fun and I had a lot more time to think. It felt right. But yet i'm back on here reading posts and twittering and sitting on my facebook all at the same time... In away it's as though technology has be come a part of life, you're out of it if you're not in it... it is almost a necessary evil... but without it half my face to face meetings wouldn't happen. things get planned over email, text, facebook, etc. but when we're placing our self worth in where we are on our friends "top friends lists" then we need to check our attitude towards technology..

Book of James said...

I understand how your brother felt and I still think you are spot on. It is so very hard for me to get used to not receiving responses back when I send electronic communication.

I have been producing videos for different groups and there is just not any feedback to know if what I am doing is effective.

I think this is where we have to have a core group of people that we have daily physical contact with. Well, I need that anyway.

Maybe it's because I am so old. I just don't like feeling that we are losing our souls.

Cheers,

esteban said...

i just edited this post. i wrote this so fast i didn't actually read it. sorry about all the previous (and existing) errors.

calilovesmusic said...

while there are all the negatives you listed( an believe me they are very valid) the technology also allows you to meet people you may never have been able to. im not saying it the best way to meet people, i dont really think people are your friends/significant other until you've met them in person and spent time with them. but witht he internet allows you to make a friend that you can meet in person some other time without the complete awkwardness of not knowing them at all.

so i agree we should just go out and meet people, id much rather talk to someone in person then online, but id like to stay online and continue talking to those friends when we cant hang out in person =]

Sarah said...

I wrote something about this about a month ago...

Facing back to the livingroom, you pile your labtop onto your lab, the screen flickering with a bright reconnosense of metal technological hum. Speaking to it, you try to coax a function out of it. You've done this many times and don't find ift strange, but when people come over and use it they are impatient in the most simplistic ways. "You have to be nice to it, it's not acomputer." You say to those people. They give you a strange look, "But it is a computer" they say with mystefied eyes. That's the thing these days, technology doesn't know it's technology because they are tempermental just like us. That might be why we're going to be caught unaware.


In some ways I just want to shout "Watch out it's 1984/Brave New World happening!" but then later that day I'll be online talking to friends. If houses become anymore "smart" I think I'll be out in a cabin, living in the woods.

davidwpritchard said...

I agree wholeheartedly. But, as you said, technology also helps connect us. I think we should be grateful for the increased ability to connect, but wary of allowing the totally inhuman, impersonal machines to supplant actual human contact. Good post.

burningstarsxe said...

I think that technology in and of itself is certainly not evil. It is when we allow it to take over our lives that it becomes seriously problematic.I regularly use email, Livejournal, Twitter and Gtalk. However, almost everyone I use these things to correspond with are my friends in real life. Most of my friends live scattered across the country and we rarely see each other - the internet is our main mode of communication. Despite the distances we are all very close and when we are together physically, we cast aside our computers and are very happy simply being with each other. I have a few 'online' friends, and one of my best 'IRL' friends I actually 'met' via an online forum. However, I know that this is an exception to the general rule.

Where I work, my fellow employees are constantly texting when the managers are not around to see. When they talk about their social lives, apparently they seem to revolve around texting. Their conversations take place via text and their opinions about others are built around comments that make the rounds of their social circles via text. Personally I find this entire practice very depressing.

Basically I think that as a supplement to relationships and friendships (especially over long distances) the internet and cell phones can be helpful and convenient. But when people use them to communicate with people they see often or who they live near, it becomes a waste of life.

Lianne said...

Very useful/thought-provoking comments here above. I agree that technology should never replace anything REAL as in, physical, tangible. But then again, talking about hypocrisy: I used to be someone who wanted to write friends one real letter after every ten emails, and I never did.

If a cure is wanted and needed, then this may be the start: to analyze how we deal with all these technological communication matters. What does it mean to us, how irreplacable is it really, how much time do we spend on it? Has it made us superficial in any way? Has it made it dependant, and if so, how and in which ways?

Personally, I am incredibly thankful for the ability to email. But I have noticed lately that I check my email at least every ten minutes when I only use my computer to provide background music while I'm working on something else (and non-digital.) Which is quite unhealthy. So I try to limit that consciously. But I wouldn't have been able to if I wouldn't have become aware of stupid habits like that which I have developed over time.

Maybe the guideline should simply be: asking yourself whether you control the medium or whether the medium controls you? Don't know.

Renny said...

I know exactly how you feel. There must be some middle ground between this new technological connection and good old fashioned face to face interaction.
I hate facebook but I'm on it, I refuse to join twitter, but I blog like nobody's business... crazy world this one.

Shark said...

Yea I complain about this all the time...me and my husband are still going strong refusing to get cellphones although friends often bother us for not having them. It's super annoying to go out with a friend for dinner and have them ignore you during conversation because of the constant text messaging going on. I like simpler times.

joleendoreen said...

perhaps an evil, but it is a necessary, albeit a selfishly luxurious, tool for those in isolation. whether it be deployment, employment, study, or sickness that often pull us apart from those we love, we have been gifted the opportunity to witness moments that might have otherwise been ripped from us had the internetwebscape not been there. yesterday i watched a live feed of my daughter's flute recital while in ICU after having my pacemaker replaced. without technology advances, missing either of those moments might have been the death of me.

blocinmotion said...

i wouldnt say youre a hipocrite...more of a corruption in the system :)

mel. said...

i completely agree. we're depending too much on technology and in turn some people don't know how to handle face to face social situations.

David Emerson said...

Anf twitter.

Twitter is the lowest form of this.

My suggestion is, write, then scan the pages and post them for your blog.

Talk face to face.

And release the Anchor and Braille LP for free.

Sarah K (: said...

haha, love the new background!

in psychology class today we were learning about depression and how the more time you spend on the computer the more depressed you'll get. i guess same with any tech.

my psychology teacher has never owned a cell phone before haha

Zack Attack! said...

I've been thinking about the modern man's tendency to objectify and supress things outside of himself in order to feel in control. We feel in control when we can understand or manipulate situations and the internet makes this easier. We can feel like we know people without really knowing them at all. "You project on her your inward scene, she's a blank external movie screen" we just see what we want to see in people and are unable to except the fact that they have more dimensions to them than what we ascribe to them, and with the subjectivity of truth that is being ascribed to in these times there is no one left to tell us "no". I think this leaks into the "Real world" as well, how could it not? even in those connections we have with people, if we don't see them in relation to God and others, but only in relation to ourselves it is the same thing.

Liz M. said...

I think you're ok until you get the point where you call people and hope you get their voicemail. Yal know what I'm talking about. (Ok yes I am a culprit and therefore a fellow hypocrite). But I think the point is not to beat ourselves up about the flaws of digital communication and completely cry out against technology. It's a great tool, but not the only one. Twitter, facebook myspace and blog people all you want, but ask the lady at Target how her day is going. Call your dad and ask him for help on something that you don't really need help with, but just to make him feel needed. Say what's up to the guy at bible study who doesn't look like a athlete/rock star. Don't rule out the homeless person just because they look creepy, buy them some coffee. Take him or her to CVS and stock them up on goodies/necessities (of course be safe, but you'll be on cloud 9 for days, I promise). And for goodness sakes, call someone and hope to NOT get their voicemail. It's more than talking to people face to face or computer to computer, it's about showing them that they mean something to someone, to you.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you, i was actually just thinking about this the other day.
Too many times my friends have gotten in a fight with me because a text i responded to them sounded 'rude'. well you cannot translate emotion into a text message, which is one of the reasons i hate texting and avoid it anytime i can, so if they were looking for a different response, a normal real life conversation would have been nice instead of making assumptions through an 'all reliable' text. i also once received a ten page text message which infuriated me. you would think that a person would wait to tell you face-to-face if it was worthy enough to take up 10 spots in my inbox apparently.
I hate facebook statuses as well, with how you can tell who broke up with who and so on, so i just decided to be 'married' to my best friend lol, why not, even though she has a boyfriend so if she ever breaks up with him people won't know because her 'status' changed. funny thing is, people that i know actually asked me if i'm married to her... seriously? do people actually believe in facebook/myspace/etc so much that they deny real truth?
Personally i feel like a creeper on all those sites because i 'know' so much about people that i never see in real life. i would so much rather meet them outside of the internet, and i myself am also being very contradicting because i am randomly responding to this... technology saddens me. :(

Angela said...

So many good comments here! I agree with a lot of people here, I know I'm guilty of getting angry at some one because of lack of a response in texting, or calling back etc. Sometimes it's as simple as they're busy, but many times people also use technology (such as phones and computers) to hide behind.

For instance, I may ask someone if they're busy that night. If I asked them in person, they have no choice but to respond yes or no. However, through a text, they could simply ignore me, this causes me to feel angry and hurt, which causes a reaction, and spirals into a fight, etc.

It's such a domino effect with technology. But in the same sense, what would we really do without it? I'm not talking about just facebook or blogging, but the internet. How much harder would it be to interact, have businesses, or even look up quick facts?

I suppose that could then lead to the conversation of how lazy, or how convenience based have we become? It never ends, really.

Lauren said...

Yes! I have been thinking about this lately as well. There are so many things about society that I wish I would just revolt against, yet certain things about technology-even though I find them irritating-have an awful hold.
I have also found that it is quite hard to meet people out in the real world. No one talks to each other anymore, and most of them stay at home on their computers. It seems that people are turning inside themselves a bit, which is creating a inadvertent way of "getting out there" through a computer, and receiving the attention of others without actually going anywhere..it's gaining social interaction with people in a more
"comfortable" way, which is highly appealing.
Of course we all know the pros and cons of technology, as there are good and bad things to basically everything. So really it is possible to like and dislike something at the same time.
Like others have said, it is nice to communicate with people you would have never met otherwise, as well as those who you don't get to see often. I just wish there was more of a balance between the face-to-face and screen-to-screen.

Amandasaurus said...

Amen, Stephen! I agree. Sometimes I wish some disaster would disrupt all this social networking madness and force us back into reality.

And hey, at least it's hypocrisy for a cause.... ^_^

matt m. said...

this is a scary thing to think about. computers and the internet have been present in my house since i was in kindergarten, so i basically grew up right beside the internet. while all the technology on the internet certainly is convenient, i'm beginning to think that convenience is the enemy here. meeting new people used to be energizing, and now it's as simple as a mouse-click. instead of introducing yourself to someone and making a first impression, all you have to do is send them a friend request, which, if you think about it, is just plain weird. requesting friendship? friendship isn't something you should have to "request", it should be something that you create and build upon and strengthen. i know from first hand experience that, as facebook and myspace began to take over my own life and my peers' lives in late middle school, it became harder for us to build strong friendships. sure, i may have 200 friends on facebook, but what happens when i don't feel comfortable trusting or talking to all but one or two of them? with the internet, it might be relatively easy to make friends, but you have to question, are they even your friends at all? also, i absolutely hate using the telephone, and instead of having to force myself to get over that obstacle, i can get on facebook chat or instant messenger or i can text my friends instead. the more the internet and technology grow, the more capable we are of hiding ourselves behind it, which in the end, is only hurting ourselves.

viva la revolution.

iwanttoplayguitarlikejoeymilligan said...

Anyways, Stephen, your "irony" is really funny.

So feel free to listen to my rambling:

But yes, I would agree, we rely too much on technology in communication. I've been going between emails and texting, and I'd have to be honest, I feel bad if I don't get a quick reply. But at the same time, isn't it kind of impolite not to respond? But then, of course, we can't judge somebody for not replying in an instant.

I think a lot of times communication through technology makes things pretty vague and shallow. We can plan what we want to say and how we want to say it and make ourselves appear fine and happy, when in reality, we're replaying "Alexythimia" and struggling in our lives. Plus, tone can be an issue as well, and one can come across as angry or rude without knowing it.

Not only that, this type of communication can hurt our own confidence in talking to others. It's so easy to write a message but harder to speak to someone face-to-face. Also, we get comfortable in saying what we think, saying things that we wouldn't say out loud.

Yes, we could go on a revolution and rebel from technology, but still, technology is a helpful tool for say, if you're a musician trying to be discovered, etc. I think it takes personal responsibility to fix this communication problem. I think the solution is that we all speak with our mouths and love others in "the real world," and remember that our virtual world must be secondary.

iwanttoplayguitarlikejoeymilligan said...

Sorry for going all over the place with that last comment.

Rachelogisys said...

You astound me. Seriously. It's like you have this weird sort of ESP something-or-other and pick up on something I'm contemplating a particular week and put it in a blog for all to see (one that people actually read- no one reads mine), all while touring and doing everything else in your life. You're amazing. Thanks. :)

As for the content in this blog- I certainly do hope the next generation rebels by talking to people face-to-face. I never thought of it that way, but it would be absolutely incredible.

shanrocks777 said...

I'll say this...'Machine friends' are not there for you when you're in the hospital having surgery or even when you're direly ill and going through a three week recovery period of antibiotics, Percocet and prayers. Can you believe this was to my surprise? I can't believe all the 'machine friends' who didn't even write me to wish me well. Getting back to more primitive ways of communication is definitely detremental to 'real' friendship. The moden day text/computer buddy is not the same as the 'pen pal' of yore. It's too easy, superficial, and doesn't fulfill the role of a true support system. I mean, some are better than others...I found myself thinking "I'd at least wish that person my best" if the roles were reversed. Maybe it's also a reflection of who that person is. In any case, I've learned alot recently.

Jessica said...

Have you read "The Age of Spiritual Machines" by Kurzweil? I think you may enjoy it. It talks about technology and humans.

Anonymous said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_a7jkcMVp5Vg/ShiCgMW7jGI/AAAAAAAAI7Y/ovfMxn4EXKQ/s1600-h/crackberry.jpg

Olya said...

It's an interesting thought, and the irony is kind of.. can't find the right word. sad and funny at the same time.

I think if there was no technology, life would be a lot better. I only use it to really keep in touch with my friends, who I haven't seen in ages because we're all so busy. If there was no computers/email/etc maybe I wouldn't be the only one making an effort to see people face to face.

Maybe eventually people will notice the value of actually seeing a face, rather than a username.

(irony here too; i'm still reading this and commenting. online. :P failll.)

breaking_hymn said...

I'd have to agree with the entire post. There's a problem everyone is facing thanks to technology and that's how to see one another face to face and be able to hold a conversation without actually have the extra 5 or so minutes to think about what we're going to say. Technology is taking away from human contact and replacing it with social akward-ness.

(P.S. Love the new layout.)

shae said...

despite the popularity of facebook, i haven't created one. primarily because of the plastic personality of it all.
so many people use facebook to define themselves, yet their profiles are anything but reality.
and, of course, things are never official until your relationship status is changed.
i learned about my little brother's engagement from a friend who saw it on facebook... 'nough said.

catherine said...

I agree whole heartedly, but everything in moderation is fine. People have lost/forgotten the art of communication and its saddening.

I'm the type of person who loves talking face to face, but everyone seems so against it. If I request a face to face or even phone (God forbid I don't want to have text-versation with them)people think that I'm mad or being mean or that I like them.

I love communication, the good ones where I have their attention and they have mine. I'm against mp3 players during conversations too, my older brother figure does it and its annoying.

Anyway, I would love to meet you face to face and have an open honest communication, you and CS Lewis, Donald Miller, Mrs. Roosevelt, and much more (dead and alive).

While the technology today speeds up communication, it has also driven it backwards.

Janelle said...

What's interesting about this is my internet was down for a few days, & I was too busy to touch it for a few days after that. At first, it was a pain, & by today, I wasn't interested in it anymore. And while it was down, I almost felt like I had to tell everyone, so they knew I was alright or not mad at anyone. And I felt so disconnected from the world. If I don't sign on to my instant messenger account, I get asked if I'm trying to avoid someone. It's crazy.

I think it's interesting, too, to have spent childhood without it but the teen years with it. In some ways, I think it gives it a bigger impact - like why to a teenager a MySpace top 8 can be such a big deal, though clearly killing someone is an intense overreaction. And it's like we're all kind of coming up with the rules as we go along, I think.

Online dating will probably always be weird to me. Online freindships even seem a little weird, but oddly more justifiable.

And don't worry, we're all a little hypocritical. Especially in terms of technology.

Eve said...

Another irony: I believe it is entirely possible that having a face to face conversation with me prevented you from posting this that night!

And to More Than Alive: I am So glad you risked e-mailing me that day, I too count you as a real friend!

I love modesty..but it is the only blog I would participate in, what a group!

I guess I would say that as long as you all let technology enhance your communication it's great, but if it's your main communication we have No real basis for those relationships.

In other words ONLY TWITTER, E-MAIL, OR TEXT WHAT YOU HAVE THE NERVE TO SAY TO SOMEONE'S FACE: GOOD, BAD, OR UGLY.

I try to write like I talk..but it's impossible to see my eyes light up on here or a frown line form...and silence does breed paranoia.... poor Paul....been there....

I agree a new MISS MANNERS needs to happen to lead us through this phase...there's a lot of rudeness out there! Use your head!

miss lynn said...

Loved the irony at the end. I recently had a conversation with my dad about gas stations. He was talking about how when he was a teen he worked at a full service station. Sadly, the whole concept was completely foreign to me. The conversation (face to face in fact!) actually inspired him to go in and pay more often just to have that interaction. Our world is becoming too technological, I agree. In the past two years, many if not most of the couples I know who got married met through internet dating services and encouraged me to do the same. Good for them, but that just isn't the same as the face to face interaction. All the social networking can be so much to keep up with. We have become too engrossed and too busy it seems.

parker said...

in repsonse to the "irony" bit, I think that hilarious :D

but yes, I full-heartedly agree with you. I've been feeling this way for quite sometime. it's absolute b.s. that all we do nowadays is sit in a room with a technologically advanced box and "talk" to our "friends". I pretty much REFUSE to use twitter because that is just a little much in my opinion. if you want to know what's going on in my life, be there with me or ask. I've been seriously considering deleting my facebook and myspace as of late, but it is seriously the only way I can stay in touch with some people. which gets me thinking "Do they actually matter to me if this is the ONLY way we communicate?" lately I've just been about the handful of good friends I have and about hanging out with them.

I don't think I can even begin to describe how much I'm really starting to dislike technology. on the flipside though, I have met 3 of my very good friends by ways of the internet, but they'll probably be the last. I just want my life to be real.

Anonymous said...

Yes the technology is convenient for those of us that are thousands of miles apart. But it seems that even though we have all this technology to communicate...we communicate less. I'd much rather hear a person's voice than get a text or e-mail. But when you are a busy person as yourself it is easier to use e-mail or social networks to keep in touch with others. As long as we use these avenues just as a tool and not a replacement of face-to-face communication then we should be fine.

Raechel said...

People of our generation will be hip parents if we want our kids to rebel by in-person communication.

Ma'ila Auwen said...

I actually was feeling some of the same sentiments and blogged about it too, here is my april 7th 09 blog:

http://mailajean.blogspot.com/2009/04/digital-ash-in-digital-urn.html

Lulu said...

ah. irony. perhaps computers/technology just let people be screwy more anonymously. how nice it would be if computers had a soul. then we wouldn't be faced with the fact that we are the problem....

andrea said...

"i wonder if our future children will rebel against us by actually walking outside and having personal contact with other humans."


ahahaha! I hope so! that's my main fear about having kids. they'll be retarded by technology.

i hate text messages.

one of my best friends moved away and he won't talk to me on the phone. I miss his voice.

Sarah A. Miller said...

I think it's very strange that our generation will be last to even remember what life was like before cell phones and instant messages!

themockingbyrd said...

"Hear, hear," said the negligent blog-reader. I agree that one must be careful with technology, but I also think that when used appropriately, technology is an amazing tool.

loula. said...

i totally agree! its got to a point where people try to analyse how someone is feeling through a text message its not right! face to face communication i think is better for the mind aswell and technology creates an easy way out for people, i think that if someone truly cares about you and wants to meet up with you they will make an effort to call you up and ask you to meet up face to face. you cant read someones full emotion through an email or a text message or 'facebook chat' when you speak with someone face to face you can usually see how theyre feeling by just looking at them, and by the way they act. i think technology gives words less meaning. Sometimes i wish i lived in the 1950's!!

Tunafish said...

Powerful. Great thoughts! Loved em :)

Tunafish said...

Actually I realize that I said that without actually knowing you :P another hypocrite over here brother. Though I probably won't ever meet you, I'll consider myself very lucky indeed, there are a few important things to say without being face to face. Some times I find it easier to write from behind a screen than to face them in person but that's a sign of cowardliness. I takes courage to step up to a person and tell them what you have to say. though I do realize that people abuse this and can become violent or physical and really mess things up. I'd love to get out and talk to my friends over a game of bball or just sit and talk about things that mean something but most of them like to sit infront of a monitor and fry their brains. I've some how gotten addicted to that and need to get out more, do something that will be worthwhile, and not invest all my time on worthless things and dreams. Thanks for the post and giving me a time to educate myself. :) I'm guessing that no one will read this but if some person out there is touched by this, I suggest you look at a few similar comments above that will probably express their better thoughts better. Jesus loves you! (don't take it lightly)

TomKat said...

It's all about moderation and self-control.

Anonymous said...

wow very thought-provoking. i love this post of yours regarding technology.kudos!

Trav said...

This post is so true!

Per some of the other commenters, of course we need to keep in mind the good things technology brings, but I don't think Stephen was suggesting that technology is all bad. I interpret his words as a warning against taking it to far by allowing technology to completely overtake the world of interpersonal communication. If that happens, it's clearly a bad thing. And it is happening.

Erica said...

stephen,
i agree quite a bit with what you said. technology has been growing in popularity over the years, and i think that at this point it would take more people than one could find to change the world's dependancy on technology. besides everything is now about the easy way, or what takes less effort with close to the same results. also, aren't we all hypocrites because you just blogged about technological dependancy and the lack of face-to-face contact, but by posting this blog you're supporting what you dislike, and by receiving 60+ comments, most stating agreement, shows contradiction on our parts. Either way, you're an amazing writer, and one of my idols. I'd love to talk to you face to face someday.

sj. said...

i am totally with you on this one. i don't think its a negative view. just an honest opinion. it is a fantastic mode of communication.. however, it is quickly replacing the "human" element of life.

i sit in my room and chat to my brother on facebook, twitter, gtalk while he is sitting in his room right next door to mine... we send each other an sms because it's easier than getting up to walk over to each others' rooms.. we don't call our friends anymore because we can 'catch up' with them through technology... i am finding that i'm starting to feel less and less like a human being.. im starting to be unsure how this physical contact thing works anymore.. oh boy..

i'm in the middle of a 40 day fast from all forms of social networking.. in hopes i'll actually use that extra time to connect with God MORE and also with people.. in-person!!

:D

Kaila said...

I agree for the most part... but I also think blogs, myspace, facebook, etc is a fun way to express yourself. It's definitely not the only way to do so but it's a way. I don't see anything wrong with technology as long as it doesn't take over your life.

Tim said...

http://www.macleans.ca/culture/books/article.jsp?content=20060612_128422_128422

Decent article on the dying art of conversation. It ties in well I think.

Story of a Girl said...

first off... i don't think you're a hypocrite. I think wanting your friends/online friends to know what you're doing/what you write etc through technology has just become the norm. Unforunately this is reality: technology provides us with an easier way to connect to more people, at the same time, without necessarily being close to them physically or emotionally.

I've met good and bad friends online, I've reconnected with friends who care and friends who don't care after years of not knowing about them...online(social networking). I am able to get in contact with family that lives miles away and that i have never met or see only a few times in my life thorough social networking. so it's not all good, but it's not all bad.

I once tried to keep away from social networking and found myself practically a hermit. lol because i know a lot of people who only communicate via social networking or who are to far away to constanly be calling or visiting:(

to some extent it's almost necessary. i agree with the need to talk to people personally...but , sometimes it's honestly easier to communicate oneself more thoroughly through writing which is why i love emailing, instant messaging and blogging :) but i do agree when you speak of how someone you're in front of should have one's attention and time. it's so rude when people just sit there and text or answer a whole bunch of calls when you haven't even seen them in a long time ! :( Thanks for the always INTERESTING and THOUGHT PROVOKING blogs =)

Ryan Lancaster said...

Mankind is setting itself backwards with electronic advancement. The more and more we create these stupid things to make life easier, the more it seems that our brains are diminishing. It's not a case of us breathing life into these machines but it's a case of machines breathing life into us. I think everyone needs to get out every now and then and interact with people face to face because it's just healthier for you. I even prefer writing everything that I do so that it's handwritten because it's more personal than pointless, empty text on a computer screen and people connect with it more. Which isn't even that big of a unique way to communicate but it's a start.

Katrina said...

This is so funny to me because my friend Sam and I were actually talking about this exact thing the other day.
Technology has taken over everything we do. When the power goes out, everything shuts down because the world is run on technology.
Society isn't social anymore. It's sad to see, and it's getting to the point where we won't even know what our "friends" sound or look like anymore. We substitute acutal conversations for instant messages or e-mails and we're starting to substitute even phone conversations for text messages. The world is too fast paced that we can't even make time for the people we love. It's sad to see the society we live in is a go-go-go society that we can't even take the time, without it being an interruption of someone's day, to make actual facetime anymore.

justfid said...

I totally feel you here on the whole technology issue. I sit here and think to myself on a daily basis about how life would be without these typed words on a screen. Technology gives us that false sense of security...it's somewhat like a diary/journal in a way. We sit here and say all of the things we wish we had the courage to say out loud. Whether that be good or bad...in a way it allows us to truly be ourselves...or does it? I mean if it's something you would have kept to yourself in the first place...then that's not you being yourself is it? I also would like to see the whole psychological affect it would have on us socially...I believe everything would be scaled back. It seems like having the ability to know what else is out there...all over the world...causes us to not want to "settle for less"...when in reality you're aiming for something out of your reach...stumbling for a lost cause. I think if we sit back and really get to know each other...on a local level, face to face...and really listen to actual words, hear the intensity of the voice as opposed to reading bland words on a screen that have no right to be there in the first place.

Ney said...

i would be agree with your post.
things like facebook and twitter really impacts the real world. we thankful because they were exist, but something that you post or updates on facebook or twitter can't be something that people should depend on. just because of it, people get fight, using it for accused people, make fun of people, etc. and yes sometimes we make this machine our friend. we talk about everything on it. even things that we know we should keep for ourselves. i think it's always depend on us how to maintain the using of this machine. everything will be given back to ourselves.

Natalie said...

Wow this is like a wake up call, technology really changed the way we are now. Love your post!

Anna said...

If that's the kid of rebellion my future kids give me, I wouldn't mind it so much.
You're incredibly insightful...Reading this makes me think more about my life and now I have the urge to have a conversation face to face with someone, right now.

Hypocrisy or not, if more of technology gave us something as good as this blog, maybe tech. wouldn't be so bad after all.

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Anouk said...

indeed, although this will make an interesting aspect of one of my stories (I happen to be an aspiring writer...), unfortunately we do seem to be depending more and more on technology. It's a shame and I try to keep proper etiquette and not let it take over my life, but alas! I am not perfect. Not yet o.O