Thursday, March 1, 2007

With Globalization Comes Isolation

In the past week, I interacted with people from around the United States, Canada, the UK, and Europe. We shared ideas, advice, instructions, and laughter. I facilitated events with hundreds of attendees and watched as they learned and asked questions. How global of me. Did I mention I didn’t have to leave my chair?

Think about how small this world has become through blogs, email, instant messenger, and web seminars. Before the Internet, how long would it have taken you to interact with hundreds of people from distant lands?

The Internet, among other technologies, has brought people closer to one another, yet our society is spending more time with technology and less time with other humans. It is great that I can order books online and have them shipped directly to my home, but there is a comforting buzz of energy in bookstore. I love that I don’t have to go to the bank, but I miss out on the chance of seeing a neighbor in line.

Technology has, arguably, made our lives easier. Many businesses are becoming global that never would have considered it ten short years ago. People are befriending others across oceans through socialization on the Internet.

With all of this globalization, however, we are also isolating ourselves from our immediate surroundings. The art of conversation is truly an art now that we have succumbed to the immediate transfer of short phrases and acronyms.

Look up from your computer. Look at your surroundings. What do you see? What do you hear? Are there other people in the room? I dare you to speak to one of them. After their initial shock, they might start speaking back. In seconds you could be having a quick exchange of information with an actual, living, breathing soul, right there in the room.


J. said...

What we must realise is that every new form of communication is a possible addition, but that no new form can ever be a substitute for existing ones.

When given the opportunity we must always stick to the most basic form available or financially viable. So pick up the phone if it's not too expensive, but meet in person when you have the chance. Only resort to email, when there is no other possibility and then be thankful that you have that option.