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Dear Kiantha: We’ve become so disconnected
Fri., May 26, 2023
The world seems to be getting more isolated by the moment. I went to dinner at a restaurant, and I swear everyone in the restaurant was on their cellphone. Even those who were there with friends. What is our world going to look like in 20 years? Will people even speak to one another anymore?
I have been keenly aware of your observation. When watching movies that were made before the pandemic, restaurant scenes were shot with people talking and socializing with others sitting at their tables. Now, nearly all of the restaurant scenes in movies are shot using images of the patrons on their cellphones either talking or texting. Hence, art imitating life.
When I dine out, which is rather often, there still is lots of conversation happening in real time but, at a glance, at least a third of the people in the restaurant are on their mobile devices. In truth, many times, I am one of the people at dinner with friends and still responding to text messages or taking calls. There seems to always be something urgent happening for which I need to respond. I imagine we can thank technology for that. Technology has made everything accessible at all times which gives us a false sense of urgency and distracts us from having valuable face to face conversation and social interactions.
The tech phenomenon can be very isolating as our interactions have become primarily via technology, quick and direct, using as few strokes of the keyboard as possible. Technology takes away the human element of physically socializing and at the same time connects us to the world.
I, too, wonder what the world will look like in 20 years. Will we become a society where everyone has noise-canceling earbuds in their ears to block out the sound of face-to-face conversations? Will we text the person standing right next to us instead of just opening our mouths and using our words? I don’t know, but what I do know is that nothing replaces the connection that we feel when we interact human to human, so my hope is that as a society we never lose the glue that binds us.
Soul to soul,
Dear Kiantha can be read Fridays in The Spokesman-Review. To submit a question, email DearKiantha@gmail.com.