Shrinking into Pieces

July 22, 2009
By Anonymous

People always say that the world is getting smaller each day. With the invention of the fax machine, the telephone, the television, and the internet, communication from my home in rural Connecticut to anywhere in the world, including my friends in California and my relatives in China, has become instantaneous. Modern technology allows us to hold conversations with people on the other side of the globe, but can we really say that our world is shrinking?

The internet was first invented by the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network back in the 1950s in order to increase convenience by easing communications between universities and research laboratories across the country. However, as it developed as a common tool, convenience turned into sheer laziness. Now, instead of going out to meet people or hanging out with friends, we often opt to use instant messaging, facebook, or an online chat room.

The hours spent staring at the computer screen meeting new people in online chat rooms are efficiently spent. Where else can one meet so many diverse people from different parts of the globe? Indeed, leaving the house to actually meet people has been replaced with this faster and more convenient alternative. But although the friendships formed online are great in number and convenience, they have no depth. Those hours are spent chatting with usernames lacking voices, faces, and all dimensionality. Newer generations are losing the need and the desire to connect with people face to face; this limited true human interaction is causing the world to grow apart.

The problem we are facing goes back to the saying, “quality, not quantity, counts,” which, although clichéd, is undoubtedly true. As we enter this modern age of speed and technology, we often forget that the best life is not the one in which the most tasks get done in the least amount of time.

We need to take a step back and realize that the current attitude of the world is creating an earth of impersonal people who, instead of pulling each other closer for support, are spiraling away from each other into their own little niches by their computer screens. We need to remember that we’re human, not a fleet of high-performing robots, and that, unlike machines, we need real interaction, empathy, and emotion more than any multitude of achievements.

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