The internet and its progressive destruction of socialness
The Beginning, benign in appearance
Ok, so some of us remember the birth of the internet and the way it influenced us in some way or another.
- Dial-up internet was what we started with, and while it proved successful in allowing us access to the internet, it tied up phone lines, making us impossible to be contacted, and a detriment on the rest of the household (for those of us with only one phone line)
- This was the birth of accessible knowledge, and was a magnificent aide to our torment of hours in a library for information. We now had the world at our fingertips..........as .......soon.........as.........the.........page..........loads........
- For some, it was the way out of the spot in a video game where we were stuck, and we cheated.
- Later in this article, I also discuss the additional issues that high-speed internet access has created, and how we as a society are becoming increasingly stupider because of it.
The Decline of 'the outside place'
Video games started a breed of little humans that would stare a screen for hours, with one exception... if you got to a spot where you were stuck.. you'd put down the controller, and go outside to play for a couple hours and come back and try again.
The internet changed that.
No longer must we torment ourselves with fresh air, and a rubber ball, or a game of tag, or riding a bicycle and getting 'exercise' but now we can look up the answer to everything and not have to think..
By allowing people access to all of the answers we became secluded, even if we were surrounded by thousands of 'friends' online.
Social Media or 'FakeFace'
The evolution of social media platforms, from Xanga, to Myspace, Facebook, etc... as there are so many its almost pointless to count anymore, has started an anti-overly-social society of teens and tweens, and even now young adults. (if you are under 25 years old, you are a young adult....sorry)
Social Media has invaded our lives, and everyone else's lives as we are poked and prodded for 'updates' from our daily experiences, and the strive to make a 'complete profile' instead of 85% by filling out email, address, phone number, blood type, first offspring offering, and signing your soul to the robot devil. Yet we continue to create content and more media for others to consume, all the while giving big corporations more detailed, real-time data that allow us to become an evolving statistic to be used to empty our wallets on their sites.
The even more disturbing part is that you don't have to be you, online. Well....Big business know its you, but I'm talking about social media perspective. Where you can stalk your ex, as a new person, peaking their interest and you find out if they're cheating. Or express yourself with no fear of reprisal.
While surfing the web, we could chat with anyone and everyone in the world, and no need to worry about what you say, they can't hurt you, they aren't even real... They are just in the screen.
The explosion that was Instant Messaging and chat rooms prior to social media gave people an illuminated buffer between their comments and the consequences. No longer were people restricted to what they would say to your face, as now they can say it virtually and never feel any repercussions for it. This created a phenomena that I cannot think to call anything except:
By allowing people to get away with anything, they became numb to the spoken/written word and the emotional impacts it could have. This sprouted to life the terms "trolls", "flamers", and many more when discussing an individual online that would purposely insult others for their own amusement. Bullying had a new playground and the only rule was that there were no rules.
Cyber Bullying, the new Wild West
Children in the late 90's onward found that they could retaliate to bad school/home/etc... lives by choosing weaker prey online, whether they attended the same school or were complete strangers.
This could range from name calling, posting derogatory pictures, even if fake, about the person, all the way to death threats and the suggestions of self harm. By little or no parental monitoring, this cause numerous suicides in adolescents as a result
How are you affected by the Internets creep into your life?
Think about how many times you check your phone a day
- Did you need to?
- Was it habit?
- Did you check it, then have to check it again because you didn't even recall what you checked?
- How do you feel when you have no service or the phone dies?
- Social media
Do you really need all of these outlets everyday?
How many times a day do you check your phone?
High Speed Hell
The advancement of technology regarding how we access the internet has been astonishing, and magnificant. But it also has had drastic consequences. By allowing us immediate access to the internet, we are a society are becoming dumber.
But how can we be dumber? we have all the answers at our fingers.
That is rather easy to explain actually. By allowing everyone to have access to anything at any time, you have systematically removed any requirement to learn information into memory. We as a species are losing our ability to recall information, but can recognize it when we see it from Google, or Wikipedia. We are no longer a society of growing intellect, but rather we are becoming a walking index with reference pages to retrieve the answers.
How long can this last? How long will it take to realize you do not actually know the information you think you do?
I challenge YOU!
Plan a day, preferably a weekend to do the following:
- Turn your phone OFF
- Put your laptop away
- Go to a park, or bowling, or anything really....
- 24 hours of NO internet, NO phone, No electronic devices.
If you need to because you cannot remember, prep by writing needed numbers in case of an emergency, and carrying them with you.
Go out, have fun, remember the world as it was 20 years ago. Not perfect, but better than today. Technology is a bless and a curse, and the cons are creeping their way into the forefront of society as we become ever more attached to a battery limit, or wall socket, the LOL Cats, the reaction videos, the random Wikipedia searches. Don't let the advancement of technology consume you