We as humans have the natural desire to seek companionship. We start relationships, develop friendships and find closeness in others. We study in libraries, coffee shops and food courts just to be in the mist of other students. We hate to appear as if we are by ourselves when we are eating, so we opt for carry out. We look for things to do on the weekend so we won’t be home alone on a Friday night.
With inventions such as e-mail, we have practically eliminated letter writing. If it wasn’t for bills and birthday cards, snail mail would most likely be dead. We spend hours updating our MySpace/Facebook profiles, posting information about ourselves for everyone to read. With sites such as Match.com, we try to find mates like ourselves. We find it easier and faster to text and instant message instead of call our friends. All these conveniences bring us closer to each other, yet they feel so impersonal.
With these technological advances I get the feeling that we are pushing ourselves further apart. Sitting in a waiting room of the doctor’s office I see a boy watching a movie on his cell phone. Walking across campus I have counted up to thirteen iPod headphones dangling from students’ ears in one class change. Do we not talk anymore? Are we as humans losing our humanity to technology?
I, too, am guilty of having a MySpace page, but I find that I learn more about my friends by actually spending time with them. You cannot find that your friend likes to stomp through rain puddles from an Internet profile. You can’t see your significant other’s eyes light up when he or she laughs, but instead you are stuck with “LOL” or “ROTFL.” Sure we have candid photos of parties and random shots of our friends in their bathroom mirror, but these are just moments, not memories.
Instead of Internet dating, wouldn’t it be more romantic to have a face-to-face date with a potential mate? Why not call your friends instead of talking through the computer? Many times information is misread or misinterpreted due to the lack of personality in the text of the screen. You can’t hear the excitement or sorrow in your friend’s voice through the monitor. Try striking up a conversation with the boy in line with you. He could be your next best friend.
Maybe it is because we are so afraid of appearing alone, that we use these devices to seem preoccupied. Cell phones, headphones and the like are becoming crutches. Eventually, it may come to the point that we forget how to connect to others altogether. Slowly but surly I feel as if this is the case. In this world of high speed connection, we are slowly drifting apart.