A lot of people out there say that technology will be the doom of us all. They look to social media as the death of true socialization, and instant access to any news source or opinion to the end of true free and collaborative thought.
While many individuals have fallen into the ‘crystal trap’, where they surround themselves with their own opinions, only to have them magnified; some have chosen to break out of their comfort zone. While it may be necessary in the workplace and for academia to research opposing opinions, many seek them out for the sake of knowledge.
These individuals feel that a different opinion is valid for shaping and refining their own, so they can have a firmer understanding of the controversy and their stance. This sort of reaction is still valued in modern society, and is even considered essential for public speakers, debaters, and various figureheads to be knowledgeable in.
Not only are the inner feelings and spoken word dependent on knowledge of ‘the other side,’ but many of those same internet sources are as well. Journalism and news sites gain their respect by representing and refuting an opposing viewpoint, including more formally respectable blogs.
Aside from matters of opinion, often the best resources to learn of and refine opinions are other humans. Just as French salons led to the Enlightenment Movement face-to-face conversations are still the best battle ground to hammer out a meeting of minds. There are some things that technology cannot replace, and that is one of them.
There are still public political and competition debates, where the aim is to ‘beat’ an opponent’s opinion. These do, coincidentally, take place live. However, privet conversations between friends and family take place with the intention of finding understanding. No one is expected to win in these meetings, but rather to understand why the participants feel as they do. They also get the opportunity to find others who agree with them and their opinions.
I know my opinion is skewed, as I am writing on my blog at this very second. But I feel that it is important to allow for realism, and say that the apparent decline in socializing is a choice, not an inevitable effect. Though it does seem that people are less inclined to chat as they wait in lines, and unlikely to speak to class mates when a phone is less intimidating, I don`t think this is a direct result of technology. I think that the spread of paranoia, seen everywhere from compulsive Germ- X users to the odd phenomena of country dwelling folk that lock their doors during the day, may be to blame. I think that the diminishing size of our forests and woodlands may be contributors. I think a lot of things are going into this problem.
Just as opinions need not be isolated because we have the ability to do so, the same is true for humanity. It is a choice to ignore strangers, to turn your cell on and tap away at your games. It is a choice to set up social meetings with friends, only to ignore them because you have to text your friend that couldn`t make it about the latest social disaster. And when you meet up with that friend for coffee tomorrow, it will be your choice to ignore her so you can text the friends you ignored today!
Life is full of choices, and distractions. It is easy to play the blame game, but very hard to try to bring about any reforms in your own life.
If you have an opinion on the matter, please share. I`d especially love it if you disagreed with me, or thought there was an argument to my flaws! It would really support my point, in a way.
Also, sorry for the formal wording, but I`m also working on part of this for a Composition I essay. I`d call this a soft draft, somewhere between brainstorming and their very rough drafts and the final stage. Please give me feedback on the writing style, if not the content itself.