Saturday, August 12, 2006

AlieNation

If 'the machines' took over, most folks would sign up to get plugged into the Matrix.

There's been a lot of reporting lately on how many Americans face lonliness, alienation and disconnect from others. I tend to believe this is true, because I've known some very insular people in my time. There are many innocuous symptoms to this disconnect: online dating services, an easily offended society, & obesity. There are, in my opinion, many devestating symptoms to this disconnect: broken homes, severe depression, role-model-less children, abandonment of the elderly, the breakdown of community and the rise of fear.

DADvocate spoke recently about the loss of tradition and I think that, too can be attibuted to this sort of thing.

It ain't easy havin' pals, and in our 'path of least resistance' society, it seems a lot of people just don't know how to deal with other people anymore.

I'm one of the lucky folks, in the fact that I have a verifiable (or certifiable, depending on who you ask) brigade of friends I trust absolutley with any secret or confidance, for whom my friendship is held in mutual esteem. My personal family & friends support structure isn't the norm, though, and I know this from folks I have interacted with at various places I worked and went to school.

But, over time, it has occured to me that there are a great many folks out there who are absolutely miserable with their lives, and this is having effects that we can't even imagine socially, politically, economically, environmentally and culturally.

There's no real easy or all-encompassing solution, but this is something worth discussing, in my opinion. Which is why I have linked to this article in 'Pointless Waste of Time'. It examines some of these things, and points out some ways the hyper-connectivity of the information superhighway is both enabling us to cut oursleves off from society and increasing the craziness out there through the echo-box effect. It is a long read, but it is soooo worth your time.

Take a look at it, won'tcha?

1 comment:

petallic said...

It is interesting to me that every summer, after school ends, I spiral into a self-reflective, narcissistic funk that lasts most of the summer. I used to think it was because I missed the kids, but I've realized that's only part of it. I realized this summer that it's because of the lack of human contact.

I have always considered myself a bit of a recluse, but I am happiest when I have the highest level of human contact, which is at work. I have non-stop human contact all day, talking, hugging, shaking hands, leaning over to help, joining groups, leading discussions, solving problems, mentoring, advising, etc. When that level of contact suddenly drops to zero at the end of the year, my whole personality changes.

Good article, Pat. And good topic.