Posted in Thoughts on...Thursdays

Thoughts on…Thursday: Incommunicado

From Google:

in·com·mu·ni·ca·do/ˌinkəˌmyo͞oniˈkädō/

Adjective:  Not wanting or not able to communicate with other people.
Synonyms:  isolated

Speak no evil, or not speak at all?
There’s a cliche that exists out there that says that you know you’re old when you start saying, “I remember when…”  or “Back in my day…”  I guess that makes me old, because I’m starting to say things like, “I remember when…”:
* going to a video store didn’t involve the mail or the computer
*you’d go to bookstores to pass the time
*you’d spend hours on the phone TALKING, not texting
*there wasn’t a such thing as social media, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and (yes) blogging…(in fact, I remember listening to a radio broadcast where they defined the word)
*iPods weren’t the norm, much less a word you heard in a country song (does anyone else think this is weird?!?)
*in waiting rooms, people would read the waiting room magazines
*people didn’t have cell phones…oh, and that world was SO GOOD!
*kids went outside and played sports or hung out inside, played board games, read, or *gasp* used their imagination instead of wanting the latest video game

I must say that a piece of my soul dies every time I go past an old bookstore front, replaced by something non-bookstore (in my case, it’s been a Forever 21 & T.J. Maxx, which is SO insulting to me).  I think I’ve crossed into “old person” territory when I dig my heels into the past, refusing to come to grips with the fact that something I used to love so much (in this case, books made out of paper) is becoming outdated.  I do have a Kindle (the first generation version…I don’t feel the need to update to any of the newer versions), but I would give it up to bring back Borders from the dead.  Or at least to supply the indie bookstores.

But I’m getting off-topic, as is the norm to do when you write a wandering-thought blog post.

I’m talking about the changing face of communication as we know it.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and throw out a statement up for discussion:

*I think that developing technology is the root of many of modern society’s
problems.*

I truly mean that statement, and here are my (admittedly non-scientifically proven) reasons behind my thinking:

Obesity:  From people staying in and playing video games or spending all day on the computer instead of going out and exercising.
Increased Stress/More Stress-Related Health Problems: From not being able to take a break from their cell phone, having to continually check their Facebook/email/Twitter/blogs, from being able to take work home with them via the computer and therefore not truly having a day off to relax and restart.
Breakdown of Communication between Families/Relationships:  It’s getting startlingly more and more common to break up with someone via Facebook or text.  Actually talking to someone on the phone, let alone sitting down to a meal together as a family instead of in front of a television, is becoming outdated and old-fashioned.  Written letters are becoming a thing of the past, being replaced by text-speak and emails.
Socially-Stunted Children/Teens:  Teenagers often have a hard time expressing their feelings to begin with, but now?  Put them in a circle to talk, without cell phones, and witness their faces look as confused as if they were studying astrophysics or neuroscience.  “Reaching out” consists of Facebook/Twitter status updates or killing creatures with a companion via World of Warcraft.

To put my above statement another way,

*I think society, as a whole, has become incommunicado because of technology.*

Indeed, I think it’s safe to say that it’s becoming more commonplace to find people who are either not wanting or not able to communicate with other people; in turn, we are becoming more isolated.

My husband and I have talked about this topic at length several times, and both of us think that it’s another “pendulum”-type thing, where this generation will go swing in one direction, revealing too much about themselves online and throwing privacy and decency to the wind, and keep to themselves rather than being the “old-school” definition of social.  We’re both hoping that the next generation (as in, the one that our future kids will grow up in) will experience the pendulum swinging back, to being a little more private, showing more decorum (vs. showing scandalous drunken/sexy pictures of you and compromising your integrity) and a yearning for face-to-face conversations once again.  I’m hoping that because of this, that perhaps the world may become a little more peaceful again.

And hey, if bookstores make a comeback, much like how we’re seeing a “granny-chic” movement (scrapbooking, crocheting/knitting, quilting, thrifting, making food by scratch), then I’m not going to get in their way!  😉

In the meantime, I challenge you, dear readers, to take some time out and enjoy non-technological things (I realize I’m being wholly hypocritical by blogging right now, but hey, I never said I was perfect).  Turn off your computers and play in a local park.  Go out and hike, throw a ball (baseball, football, soccer ball, basketball, whiffleball, wall ball…not picky) around, get together with friends for a board game night, read a paper book, pick up your phone and have a voice conversation with a friend, mail a handwritten letter.  Sit down to a meal with family or friends.  Play an instrument or go listen to a live band at a coffeeshop.  Breathe the air, feel the wind in your hair, smile at a stranger, give out hugs.  Help me to swing the pendulum back, one non-technological act a time, and dig out this society from its isolation.

Love.  Laugh.  Truly…LIVE!

Can’t Wait to Hear What This Challenge Brings!  🙂

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