Alienation.

“The price we pay to assume technology’s power is alienation.” This was one of the most thought provoking things that I have read throughout Carr’s book, yet it is before the very end of it. This is definitely a fact of society today. As I am writing this, I am sitting across from my roommate on my bed, with my headphones in. She has hers in as well and is catching up on her weekly show. We are inhabiting the same space at the same time, yet neither of us are talking to the other. We are not always like this, but when we are it’s a strange feeling.. I noticed this on the bus the other day. All of the seats were filled and there were a few people standing towards the back. When I did a scan of the people facing me, everyone was on their phone. The only people that were not focused on their phones were people that came on the bus with other people, and even then you see them take out their phone for a quick update while their friend tells them about their day. And the worst part? Making eye contact with someone you do not know on the bus. When you do, it’s REALLY awkward. It’s a moment that can last no longer than a second or so without immediately turning into a “creep.” Once that happens, you immediately pick up your phone or iPod and start doing something with it so that you are no longer focused on the person sitting across from you so that they don’t think you’re weird. And that is how it always goes. We are afraid to interact with those around us because now we don’t HAVE to. There is no reason to be friendly to the person sitting next to you since you can just play Candy Crush and listen to your favorite song instead. It’s no longer necessary to interact with people at all. And that is the kind of alienation that will eventually kill our society: the kind where you are able to replace humans with whatever you can hold in the palm of your hand.

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4 thoughts on “Alienation.

  1. kathleenlee3

    The idea of awkwardness that you brought up really interested me. I wonder if people 30 years ago used to feel as “awkward” as often as we do in this day and age. Why do we feel it?

    Reply
  2. GabbyG

    I totally agree with you on this. Even just watching people walk down the street I’d say about 70% of them have their phones in their hands. Like you said, because we don’t have to interact with people we don’t and not just that, but I feel that we’ve also just become so uncomfortable when stuck in situations where we can’t just seclude into our technology. The number of tweets I’ve seen saying how “my day is going to succcccccck. Forgot my headphones D:” are a good example of that.

    Reply
  3. mjboyer

    This is an interesting point, and I can’t help but actually agree with it. In my Information Technology and Informatics class, we had a recent lesson on Google Glass and the technology’s implications. This directly relates to your point about technology enabling alienation in society in that someone in the class made the point that Google Glass takes away from people’s experiences. Their point was that people would be too focused on capturing “the moments” of life with their Google Glass rather than just experiences them.

    Reply
  4. juliamoore3

    Your post reminded me of a video we watched in my Information Technology & Informatics class, so I made my own post about the same topic. It’s scary to realize that as our technology skills are excelling, our social skills are depleting. Social skills that we take for granted might be foreign to humans a few generations in the future. Usually, I am a very social person, but sometimes I don’t feel like putting in the effort to talk to people so I just interact with my cell phone instead. Seeing someone with their head down and eyes glued to their phone is basically like seeing someone wearing a sign that says “DO NOT TALK TO ME”. Cell phones have given us an easy way to ignore nearby people, in a socially acceptable way.

    Reply

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