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Technology isolates people

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We can notice from our daily lives that some people are easily and seriously infected by a virus called “technology”. As a computer scientist, I consider technology as being a virus because computers are able to keep me sitting on my chair for 12 hours a day, facing my beautiful monitor and interacting with it, without forgetting the fact that I am ruining my eyesight with the bright light projected from the screen. Technology, in any invention, can change the behaviour of individuals and disconnect them from their environments, making it a relationship murderer.

The first argument that explains why technology isolates people is the relationship that is built between the technological artifact and the individual. From a utilitarian view, technology is considered positive as it makes everyone “happy” with their own inner world. In this case, technology maximizes the “happiness” that one may find in his/her relation with their lovely device. However, although this invention can bring joy to an individual’s life, it has a major drawback on the other hand. Let us illustrate this by the example of the ipod, which has been criticized by Joseph C Pitt in his article “Don’t Talk to Me”. The ipod has a special relationship with each individual who owns it. Some of us consider the ipod as a means of disconnecting from the outside world. In other words, being able to listen only to it and not to others can sometimes make an individuals’ life better by helping him or her avoid the sound of people’s quarrels in downtown for example.

The latter ideas might seem appealing, but at the end of the day, this person feels there is a new gap that took place between him or her self and the others. This gap is created because the consumer of the artifact spent the day interacting with his/her electronic device, ignoring the world around him or her. This victim of technology has made his or her life excessively reliant on it, as he or she has more and more personal data stored in the device. Examples of these data could be music (Ipod), pictures, videos, documents, etc… (on any form of computers or smartphones). The GameBoy is a similar example that demonstrates isolation and reliance. It is an addictive, handheld video game device created in Japan in 1989 [1] for children and teenagers. By plugging in two small batteries and a favorite game, a child is able to spend hours with this small device, making him isolated from his family and friends. When parents send their children to school with a gameboy in their school bag, the future adult will spend his or her break time playing on his or her favorite device instead of playing with other children and learning what is social life and how it can make his/her life a better world.

The second argument why technology separates us from the rest of the world is the fact that it has changed our way of communicating with each other. One of the important technologies that has revolutionized our way of interacting is the social network “Facebook”. Facebook and many other social networks help its consumers avoid the physical contact between individuals. People who are not in a good mood to meet others can easily communicate with them through these new technologies but at the same time lose the reflex to face emotional and real conversations. We used to conversate around a coffee, smile to others and shake hands. Nowadays, we smile to the monitor or the phone because we received a “message” or a notification. We interact with graphical interfaces and we enjoy them because they are easy to use.

Moreover, the cell phone is a major artifact that had and still has a big impact on us. Today, instead of surprising our friend for his/her birthday by visiting her, on effort is reduced to a text message or voice message in the voicemail. To conclude, technology in general affects our way of behaving. It surely makes our lives easier, but it kills our social lives, which is a major part of our routine. Electronic devices isolate our bodies from the society because we rely on them more and more. Social networks does not help up with their effect on our communication habits. Indeed, our societies are losing their culture and as humans we are wasting our times. We avoid interaction and confrontation with others, and the more we do that, the more difficulty we will have in communicating and maintaining any kind of interaction with others, making us more isolated.


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