I know, I know, I’m far from the first person to make this observation, but isn’t it odd and a bit sad how all this amazing technology that’s supposed to bring us closer together really makes us more and more isolated? I was out earlier today and I couldn’t help but notice that there I am, surrounded by people, sitting facing some and close enough to rub elbows with others, but are we conversing? Are we connecting with each other? Are we even paying any attention to each other? No, each person is hypnotized, everyone is transfixed by the devices they hold in their hands. You might say, come on, it’s not so bad really: one person is reading a tender message from a lover, another is writing to a cherished friend, another is happily absorbed in some kind of game. This is true, but don’t forget that everything comes with a price. Our gadgets won’t serve us if we don’t first give something in return: our attention. These technologies might facilitate some connections, but they also seal us off in virtual worlds that are just pale shadows of the real thing when we could instead be engaging directly with the vivid richness of the world around us. Mind you, the first person mentioned was reading a postcard, the second was handwriting a letter, and the third was masturbating, but you can see how all of the technologies they were using are no less antisocial than smartphones.
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