Have We Hit a Tipping Point of TOO MUCH (#Technology and #SocialMedia)?

Category: Social Media Social Good Series

Internet comic - our connected world

Watching a couple of relatively new movies on NetFlix recently I was struck by how well they are now integrating daily technology into the story lines. Everyone in a contemporary film has/uses smart-phones, communicates via texting, and is adept on a laptop. In espionage and thrillers (e.g. James Bond), they take it to an extreme that may not be realistic but it’s often not too far out of touch with reality. But, when it comes to everyday stories, I suspect it’s very touched by reality and that is my concern.

Social Media ruining a date

What is the societal and cultural fallout from the pervasive use of technology today? It is more pernicious among kids and young adults, clearly, but I’m an old dude and I’m “addicted” to my tech as much as anyone. Is that why I’ve developed a bowling ball gut? Is that why obesity is at its highest levels in U.S. history?

Like most things, there’s a middle ground and there’s NO DOUBT that much of what tech offers us in wonderful. Information at your fingertips is beyond cool. Directions to anywhere from your cell-phone are priceless. At least my wife won’t get lost. The list of good things is endless, but sadly the negative costs are equally endless, particularly among the generation than knows nothing else.

Internet Fairy Tale

I choose to bring tech into my life but I well remember when it wasn’t there and I can stop at any time. When I was sick recently, I simply allowed emails to accumulate and didn’t even meet my regular posting schedule on my website. Yes, I panicked when my laptop was stolen and was highly anxious during the time it took to get a new one and get all my data restored but would that have been much different if my wallet was stolen? Not much.

Hashtags are now ubiquitous. Every news show uses them as does every Award show and just about every movie and network drama or comedy. Giving out your Twitter handle is probably done more often than sharing your phone number. Phone2Phone sharing is done and even business cards may go the way of the rotary telephone.

Facebook Before and After

Who prints photographs anymore? Who takes the time and care to place printed photos in photo albums? I used to do it with painstaking pride and love. My boys – while completely tech-consumed – still love to go through those old photo books from their childhood. Is a digital photo frame really the same?

Is life now all reduced to sound and video-bites? Vine exists solely because of the brevity of its format. When Instagram added video, they limited its length to 15 seconds. I suspect that was to avoid the music license issues, but I’m not sure that that even ultimately mattered. Short is good it seems except…I won’t go there.

Twitter comic

Are we at a tipping point where the use of technology is degrading our humanity? I wonder?

Twitter cartoon

  • Victória Oliveira

    In many ways, yes. It all depends on the user and their prudence. The real question is: How far are people willing to go to get likes and followers?

    Nowadays, it has become an instrument of working, it’s how a lot of people get their monthly income and communicate with people who live far, but the imprudence of human being is what is leading it to the degradation of our humanity, I mean, people actually tweet during moments that they think there’s someone robbing their houses… When I first joined twitter a few years ago, it was one of the first tweets I have ever seen) and yes, it got the person a lot of followers, but the person didn’t call the cops in order to
    tweet that. I remember there were people in the house with her at the time (older
    people who I’m not sure cared that much about technology) who had the decency to
    call the cops, but the person didn’t even care to do it herself, not for her
    well being or her loved ones, she just chose to tweet about to get followers
    and RTs. And yes, not everyone thinks humanity comes second or last, but yet
    again, aren’t this kind of people getting outshined by those who do? How long
    until it spread? Also, in this case, was RTing REALLY a big help for her?

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_6WFc9sZ87K:disqus – but do our kids know how to use “prudence?” As for those who “exploit” SoMe, they get found out eventually. Authenticity can’t be faked!

  • Mei

    We keep SoMe, devices, tech out of home, period 🙂 Only watching TV to chill is allowed, for an hour.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_mAYzV8PM6A:disqus – your daughter is still young – I wonder how long you’ll be able to keep that up?!

  • Mei

    Love overcomes everything lol I’m thinking she’d prefer my company than the device! We’ll see, I promise to report to you when I can’t and seek help at #dadchat lol :))

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_mAYzV8PM6A:disqus – I have faith in you – but when your child gets older, trust me, it gets harder!

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