This blog is the result of an internet class that I had to take for my senior year to earn my four year degree in Business Management. For the final project in this class I have chosen to write this blog to answer a question that this class has sparked within me. Maybe the question and blog has been swimming around in my mind for some time now. I must also admit that will all honesty, this subject scares me a little. Here is my blog, here is my final project blog and here I am finally at the end of a long road.
The tide keeps on shifting and the evidence is clear, technology is always going to be one better than us humans or is it? Here I sit, I just turned forty years old. Technology has changed our world but none of us know how much until we really turn our pages backwards to the beginning chapters of our lives to see the progress or should I just say what it is, the change that has occurred. Where are our social interactions gone?
My life before the “rise of the machines” was great! We played outside with our friends, played with our pets, and we had neighborhood baseball, dodgeball, volleyball, bad mitten, anti-I-over, and basketball games. Went sledding on the local water hill. Found parks and cool places to dig for treasure. Pretending to make mud pies was a favorite and adding grass, weeds, rocks and spit was normal. We got dirty, we got exercise, and we were social. We knew where or what house our friends were at by whose bikes were sitting out front in the yard and we joined in!
I grew up with a phone that had a cord attached to the wall and now I have an IPhone sitting beside me on the couch. Most people that go out to eat or hang out just sit on their phones and do other social networking things other than talk to the real person sitting right in front of you.
I watched T.V.’s that had tinfoil as antennas just so we could faintly make out what big bird might look like in black and white. Now we have instant videos, movies and music at a touch of an app right on our phones! No antenna needed! As kids and as families we would gather around the television that worked best and maybe watch a show, pop some popcorn and socialize. This rarely happens anymore.
The first time I saw a microwave, I thought the thing was going to blow my head up. I had no idea how a box could cook food. What a strange concept. Now to not have a microwave is impossible because how would you actually cook something then?
I took my first typing class on a typewriter, there were no computer labs. Now computer labs exist no matter what age you are in school and most kids learn how to work the computer and keyboard before they can even walk. Computer classes don’t even need computer labs anymore and most can be done online. Once again, no social interaction.
I took pictures with a camera you had to load film into and change the flash bulb. I remember when polaroid cameras was the latest upcoming technology and how it was exciting to see the picture right away(after waving it in the air for a few minutes)and not wait for it to be developed! You guessed it, phones are our camera and there is no waiting for developing at all. Matter of fact, take a picture and just post it online in a matter of seconds! How simple but how sad. No more gathering in a living room visiting around an album of pictures or a handful of freshly developed glossy pictures, all we have to do is look at what they posted on Facebook with ourselves and no conversation needed.
The first home computer game I ever came into contact with was a computer called a Vick 20 where we had to put computer codes to make it do whatever we coded in. Now we see kids that are walking around with games on their phones, iPad, notebooks and then also they have systems that connect to the internet at home where they can play their friends but don’t have to be in the same room anymore.
I remember the record player was hard to manage if you wanted to play a song in the middle of the album. Your brain just kept repeating “be steady, don’t scratch the record”. I was one of those sisters who accidently scratched my brothers Michael Jackson record even though I thought I could just listen to “beat it” one more time. Eventually, cassette tapes came out but that was after eight track tapes and I remember I sat for hours in front of my stereo waiting for my favorite songs to play so I could hit record and tape them on blank cassettes to have a collection of my favorites. Once my collection was complete, I would get together with my friends and share the great songs. Now, we just download the music with our phone from iTunes which takes a matter of seconds not days and this is usually done alone.
I discovered the internet when I was in my twenties and that too plugged into a phone outlet. Now we expect wireless everywhere we go! The grocery stores even offer their shoppers wireless while they shop! Wow, what a concept! No more receipt books and receipt cards to share at dinner parties and social events, let’s just look that up on my phone in the middle of the grocery store to see what needs to be bought. What a world we live in now. If only some of you who are younger could understand this technology movement. It did not just happen in a waves, it hit like a tsunami!
The world became less social face to face. Where are our social interactions gone? The world has become a giant as social media has taken over our world. It is so much easier to text than call. It is much more convenient to play games on line than to have people over to play. It is much easier to share music, share pictures, share videos. The information that can be acquired can be astronomical and absolutely endless. The interactions between people is becoming scarce and scary. What is left really? The world needs social interaction with people, face to face interactions. We are all going to become introverts in the real world but online we can be something totally different, we can be socially extraverted. This is the reality of the world we live in. The next something is yet to come. The next something is socially unskilled.