Have gadgets become more important than people?
It is not a rare sight anymore to find a group of people sitting on a table, all of them busy with their cell phones or laptops or other gadgets. In today's "busy" world, people do not need people anymore. Just give them a gadget (a laptop, a cell phone) and they can live for hours together with it without talking to anyone. People do not have time anymore to sit and talk to people. Forgetting time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get enough attention or a mere acknowledgement from a people these days. Why has the world become so materialistic?
It probably depends on the individual in question, of course; but I don't see the prevalence of gadgets as a sign that people care more about gadgets than people. I love my gadgets as much as the next person. My grown kids and siblings have all the same gadgets that most other people do too. Still, it's pretty clear that we're the same, close, group of people that we've always been (and that a whole lot of people wish they could be with family members/friends). In fact, to the person who DOES value the people and relationships in his/her life, a lot of gadgets just make it even easier to stay close.
So I think that being materialistic is either in the eye of the beholder, or else it's in the heart/mind of SOME owners of gadgets (but it that's the case then it would be there whether or not the person has gadgets).
I think of when my kids were little (before gadgets were what they are today), and their father and I would be at the dining room table, each of us reading our own books/magazines. All three kids would be nearby in a chair or on the rug, reading their own books of one kind of another. We'd occasionally "check in" with each other, but were generally absorbed in enjoying our reading. There was something very warm and cozy feeling about all of us knowing we were together, and enjoying doing the same thing at the same time; even if it meant paying attention to our own reading. That wasn't "book materialism". It was "a shared family activity". I'm not sure that everyone having his own gadget at the family dinner table is a whole lot different than that. In the right family and circumstances it's almost just another way to have "some other little thing" in common with everyone else (like the books/magazines we had were when we'd all be sitting around and doing the same thing).
I think people basically bring whoever/whatever they are to any situation. If there's something "empty" going on among a bunch of people, I think it's more the people than it is something like either gadgets or books.
Thanks for your response Lisa. And thank you for sharing a totally different view point on the subject. As you very rightly pointed out that its all about the people and the way they perceive & deal with things and people around them.
Most people forget that a printed book is an information technology gadget,invented about 600 years ago. Under it all, it's about how we relate to people, information, and things.
i would say we have become consumed with technology. We have to have the next big thing and learn how to use it quickly before the next big thing comes out, just so we can do it all over again. I don't know how many times I have been sitting in the office and my coworker who is maybe 6 feet away from me would rather email me a question than just ask me. Technology and gadgets are our way of life, so we forget how to live without them.
This is really a pity dilemma! But what are we gonna do?
We can say "We hate them. They have changed our lives, and made us less humanistic...", but actually we need them, we live on them, and we love them. Furthermore, they are fruits of human intelligence and wisdom.
I see another side to this. Being genuinely present fora person-to-person encounter is a skill. Skill is learned through practice. Since the 1960s, with the widespread use of central air conditioning and television, we don't get practice in childhood of playing together and interacting in healthy ways. We habituate to interacting with stories or with people through machines. It is simply more comfortable.
If verbal (written or spoken) interaction were all that mattered, if exchange of ideas was all that mattered, then it would jut be a different mode of being.
But that is not true. We live in animal bodies. We need to dance, to sing, to hug. We gain great healing value and great creative, expressive value through the life of the body, and through sharing, in body, real presence with one another. The felt experience of real, relaxed presence with another is an amazing gift. And it has become altogether too rare.
Come dance with me!
To some people, I do believe that is true. I've known a woman to jump out of a moving vehicle to catch her cell phone. She ended up in the emergency room for a broken arm and a bunch of bruises.
Unfortunately thats the sad reality today.
A sad story - but i hope she would have jumped out of her car to catch a falling baby, as well. Maybe people are still as important as cell phones - or almost.
I think to a great degree gadgets have become more important than interpersonal communications and it is a crying shame.
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