Technolgy really connecting or disconnecting?

Technology is making breakthroughs connecting people throughout the world and innovating the way business is done. It is flattening the world, as Thomas Friedman would say. I am not talking about that technology though but more about consumer technology that is not connecting business employees to work but in general connecting people outside of work in social situations. The technology I am referring to is consumer electronics. That includes Blackberry’s, iPods, iPhone’s, laptops, Sidekicks, and cell phones in general. Now with that disclaimer said let me now continue on the point I am trying to make.

I think that it’s great that we are all so connected now a day’s at your fingers, you have your email, music library, and Google. Remember when people use to meet in a train or coffee shop. Lately I have noticed that wherever I turn and look everyone is too busy hanging out with his or her gadgets. Let me elaborate, people in a coffee shop are listening to their iPod, surfing the net on their laptop. People in the train are they are listening to the iPods and checking email. Even people just hanging out in the bars are talking on their cell phones.

From this stems the question how do we have the random conversation anymore? When on the train, coffee shop, gym you can’t strike up that conversation with the cute girl because she is too busy playing with her smart device. When waiting for the coffee you cant make small talk with the person standing next to you. Is this what these devices really planned for us? As someone in the technology business I wonder if Martin Cooper inventor of the Zack Morris cell phone planned to have people so busy on their cell phones talking to other people disconnecting them from the world. Did Steve Jobs want the iPod to become the barrier between people conversing in public?

I know that social networks are connecting us to people. I as is it really connecting us to new people or is it just connecting us to people we already know. Most of everyone I follow on Facebook, are people I already know in real life. So is social networking connecting us to more people or just more people we lost connections to? I think that its good we are connecting to more we lost touch with but it would also be nice to connect to new people. I think social networks help us not only focus on ourselves but others so they are a step in the right direction. We are not far enough yet.

I am not going to say that I am not guilty of doing the same thing sometimes. I know I am probably worse then some when it comes to using my gadgets and being oblivious of my surroundings. I have realized that I do this and am planning on helping on correcting this. I am not going to walk around with my iPod any more, I will continue to keep my blackberry and read email but will be more in tune with my surroundings. Maybe this will help meet new people and be more open. I do pose the question to you what do you think. Is technology hindering us from actually connecting to people or helping us and why???

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2009 at 9:33 PM and is filed under Me!, Random Thoughts, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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