January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014


Does technology isolate us or connect us?

I was reading a column recently wherein the author argued that we’re turning into a society of people who do nothing but sit alone in rooms, staring at screens. First of all, that would be AMAZING. However, I would also contend that sitting alone in a room, staring at a screen, doesn’t necessarily equal isolation. The way I see it, the ability to communicate with people around the world who are also sitting alone in rooms, staring at screens, is pretty freaking fantastic. It seems arrogant to assume that the people immediately in the geographic vicinity make for the best socialization. I mean, I live in a city full of former student council presidents and it gets old after awhile. Sometimes I want to be in a group where I’m the one with the most degrees (two).

Your mileage may vary, especially depending on your comfort level with written communication. I myself personally would love a job that involved nothing but reading and writing. Perhaps you prefer talking, or physical exertion of some sort. More power to you. It’s those people who like face-to-face interaction that probably don’t dig the idea of connecting virtually. Hrm.

(Speaking of isolation, I blasted through Orange Is the New Black (book version) in two days, and I’m pretty certain it’s going to be on my 2014 best book shortlist. Fascinating stuff, and not at all as rapey as I expected. Is it wrong to hope she gets arrested again so there’s a sequel? Is that not how that works?)

(And speaking of books, I blasted through The Fault in Our Stars in even less time than OITNB and sobbed at the cruelty of the universe when I finished. Never has "life sucks, and then you die" rung more truer as an aphorism.)

One could argue (as I'm about to do right now, in fact) that technology is the conduit by which we can meet those with exactly our interests. I've been researching Mensa groups to join*, and narrowing the long list of interests-to-be-listed-on-member-profile to just eight. (Alas, my shortlist came to around a dozen, so they'll never know my love of chocolate.) Am I likely to find someone with exactly the same interests? Probably not. But maybe they'll be able to follow quotes from Tolkien with quotes from Knope, as I do.

Do you have any internet friends? My earliest ones I met through Yahoo! Groups and AOL Instant Messenger. Now it's more likely to be Facebook, game show appearances, or FOAFs.** Someday: Direct brain interaction!

* Oh yeah: I got in to Mensa. Great accomplishment of 2014 or greatest accomplishment of 2014? Remains to be seen.
** Probably technically abbreviated FsOFs but eh.

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