Friday, May 14, 2010

Information Overload

Over the last century, society has changed and developed in such a way that we demand instant gratification, becoming popular through the technology boom along with the development of the internet. Is our ability to simply turn to Google for information or reply to a Facebook update really necessary for our self actualization? We are being bombarded by logos, icons, text, false information, advertisements and the occasional popup describing male genital elongation. This presents some large scale problems:

Too much screen time increases insomnia and anxiety but more evidently, it stunts social growth in children, prevents face to face social interactions, and decreases physical activity. Removing the physical and personal connection with someone makes it increasingly difficult to communicate effectively. At the same time, 30%-33% of Americans are now obese because of lack of exercise and bad diet. There is no excuse for that!

Too many distractions lead to forgetting about what you need to do to make yourself happy. If you are linked in all the time to keep up with what your friends are doing, you may forget that you need something more than reading a twitter message on your smart phone. It would be easier to just meet and talk about your life with them over a beer instead of over the internet. Some people become obsessed with something online that is simply not real. 'Escaping reality' online is causing detrimental problems for people finding lovers, spreading false information quickly and deteriorating social and physical health.

Many people seem to enjoy the ability to disconnect with the existent world by connecting to an online one. The problems above are only a select few of a global shift in the way we interact with other people. Some may say that we are increasing our sociability and reach to the rest of the world but I don't think sitting with your family and updating your Twitter is being social.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with everything but the last paragraph. I am exactly as you described. I am socially incompetent, girlfriend-less, physically unfit, and I easily become anxious. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's who I am. :P
    (I do believe that fitness is important, but I don't think it's the fault of telecommunications.) Hell, I was already shy and socially awkward before I even knew what the internet was.

    If it weren't for the world wide web, I wouldn't be:
    -Philosophically Enlightened
    -Culturally Uplifted
    -Self Aware
    or even:
    I wouldn't know half the stuff about game design as I do now.

    Being socially involved also has it's downsides. Drinking isn't exactly a good thing, especially if you need to drink alcohol in order to socialize or you develop an emotional attachment to a beverage that rots your brain! There are also issues with being too socially tuned, social chameleonism for instance.

    So to hell with you and your elitist views of how people should be. People can't be perfect and who are you to judge what personality traits are best and which aren't.