Thumbing Your Way To Friendship?

Grab a cup of coffee:

image

Dine out at your favorite restaurant:

image

Spend some time at the museum:

image

Meet at a popular diner:

image

Relax at the beach:

image

Go to a game:

image

Going out on a date:

image

Take a drive around town:

image

From “Is the Web Driving Us Mad?”Thedailybeast.com/newsweek

Questions about the Internet’s deleterious effects on the mind are at least as old as hyperlinks. But even among Web skeptics, the idea that a new technology might influence how we think and feel—let alone contribute to a great American crack-up—was considered silly and naive, like waving a cane at electric light or blaming the television for kids these days. Instead, the Internet was seen as just another medium, a delivery system, not a diabolical machine. It made people happier and more productive. And where was the proof otherwise?

Now, however, the proof is starting to pile up. The first good, peer-reviewed research is emerging, and the picture is much gloomier than the trumpet blasts of Web utopians have allowed. The current incarnation of the Internet—portable, social, accelerated, and all-pervasive—may be making us not just dumber or lonelier but more depressed and anxious, prone to obsessive-compulsive and attention-deficit disorders, even outright psychotic. Our digitized minds can scan like those of drug addicts, and normal people are breaking down in sad and seemingly new ways.

I’m not convinced that the Web is driving us mad but, if the photos above are any indication it seems to be affecting our social behavior. Disconnection is rampant; discourtesy is epidemic; empathy seems to be a long forgotten phenomenon.

Just saying.

The other side of the coin100 year-old Idaho woman on Jay Leno show. You’ll love this lady – she has a view or two you might share – even on on “thumb texting.”

A shout out to my good buddy Mike for sharing these photos. Since these photos came by way of email, I’ve not been able to track the originating site. If they originated at your site, please let me know so that I can link back and credit you accordingly.

12 Comments

Filed under addiction, Point of View, social networking

12 responses to “Thumbing Your Way To Friendship?

  1. manny

    We always tend to blame “external” factors instead of blaming ourselves. Everyone is responsible for their own life.

    The problems is always inside, not out, if these kids would not be addicted to this, they would to other stuff (if they’re not already, like sex, drugs and alcohol).

    Anyone can be addicted to almost anything.

    Lets look at the ROOT of the problem for a change.

    ps. the dating pic is very funny.

    • Hey Manny,

      Yep, have to go with your observation – “We always tend to blame “external” factors instead of blaming ourselves. Everyone is responsible for their own life.” As in all things, there are exceptions – but, on the whole, I share your view.

      Yeah, the dating pic was a bit of a laugh – brought back a few “odd” dating moments for me. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill

  2. Hi Bill & Mike

    In your main post today Bill is a video of a remarkable musical ‘flashmob’ performance. I note the high proportion of people in the audience who are recording with their Smart phones/tablets ~ watching a unique event unfurl in real time on their screens & yet it is an event of which they are a part. Great for posterity, but rather weird & unsettling for me watching people removing themselves from the direct experience.

    I’m going to look online at the Bayeux tapestry now ~ see if I can spot battlefield weaver reporters shuttling away on their portable looms as Harold, Earl of Wessex meets his fate

    Any such reporters would of course be eye witnesses. Sorry ~ I’ll get my coat…

  3. Mal

    Hey Bill,
    I was at the doctors yesterday, I think 70% of people were doing exactly the above. Of course, since nobody was talking, I got out my phone and read the news on the net lol.
    When in Rome, and all that.
    Cheers

    • Hey Mal,

      lol! I hear ya – gotta keep up. 🙂

      I was on public transit today and since I had some spare time, I stayed on my buddy Mike’s bus until the end of the line – had to catch up on the gossip. The end of the line being the University, all the kids that got on immediately pulled out their devices and went at it. I just stood there and LMAO.

      I’m telling you, it was like a practiced maneuver. Sit – Pull Phone – Unholster Thumbs – GO!! Gotta admit – it was fun watching all these young people who were totally detached from the world around them. You could have shot a Cannon and they would have missed it.

      Best,

      Bill

  4. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Read this post and got my grumpy old man hat on, easily done as it’s never far away.

    Courtesy begins at home, or should. It is possible for children to learn good manners and consideration for others, if anyone teaches them. Unfortunately the trend these days is for everything to be child-centred; no boundaries; no-one can be allowed to fail at anything, so how can they be motivated or have aspirations? If a child gets into trouble at school, the parents are likely to side with the child and take issue with the teacher; Johnny doesn’t like the food he’s given, so give him something else; all rights, no responsibilities.

    I believe one of the most serious consequences of the disconnection you refer to, is a general lack of empathy with others. If people are too self-absorbed, this is bound to follow. One of the best examples of this? People living their lives through “social media”. I’ll bet a large proportion of those youngsters from university were updating their online statuses (stati?). “I’m on the bus now and I’m so important you need to know this”.

    OK, getting back in my box now, but still keeping my GOM hat handy…

    Kind regards
    John

    • Hi John,

      I’ve been searching for my grumpy old man hat – maybe you’ve got it. 🙂

      Your comment is spot on. Your viewpoint is supported, in large measure, by society at large. So, what are we going to do about this untenable situation? Nothing – comes immediately to mind.

      Empathy, it seems to me, is viewed sort of as a cute notion with little to recommend it in today’s “me first” world. The price we pay is all around us.

      Beyond sad.

      Best,

      Bill

      • John Bent

        Hi Bill,

        What are we going to do about it? Nothing constructive can, or probably should, be done. Each generation must find its own direction and make its own mistakes; after all, ours made plenty. Dwelling too much on all of life’s problems leads, inevitably, to despair and that’s not a route I’m prepared to take. Am I a realist? Definitely. Am I a pragmatist? Absolutely. Am I a defeatist? Possibly, but my glass remains irrevocably half full; maybe rethink the realist thing :).

        Kind regards
        John

        • Hi John,

          I’m of two minds on this. Being driven by pragmatism, I’m more than prepared to say – what the hell- and simply carry on.

          On the other hand, our generation (and yes, we made a bucketful of mistakes as you point out) is hardly immune from the behaviour traits often ascribed to younger generations. I see around me every day miserable, rude, self centered, largely detached from present realities, older people – chuffed by their sense of entitlement, who could do with a quick slap upside the head.

          Still and all, like your glass, my glass remains half full.

          Best,

          Bill

  5. Huh! That glass is over-engineered 🙂

    • Hi Michael,

      Quite right. Designed with illusionary principles in mind (can’t beat those Chinese fellas), my glass always appears half full. 🙂

      Best,

      Bill