The End of Solitude
Is it true that technology plays a vital role in human race existence? Technological advancement has presented a significant impact on how individuals relate to each other; no matter whether it concerns their families, peers or even themselves. Its rapid proliferation has forced people out of a state of isolation. While camera has created a culture of celebrity, computer has created a culture of connectivity according to Deresiewicz. Photos are taken and shared all over as people seek popularity and compliments. Internet, mobile phones, radio, television, MP3 music players and other numerous technologies have made present life communication bearable and easier. Obstacles of time have been greatly minimized.
Internet is widely used today through social networking sites; people upload their photos and depict their emotions and feelings through commenting on Facebook and following their friends on Twitter. In present day, if you are not on any social network, you are considered old fashioned. These sites have turned the world into a global village where distance is non-existent as people have stayed in touch irrespective of how many miles apart they are. Events and weddings are planned and invitations sent online.
Technology has not only taken away our privacy but also our concentration, affirms Deresiewicz. On subscription to internet utilization, one has to give his/her personal information for example age, nationality, full names among others. On concentration, it is believed that 85% of undergraduate students use social networking sites daily according to a study and information technology survey. In as much as it is used to reconnect with friends it has resulted to dwindling performance in schools. The employment sector has not been spared either. Workers at their job stations are usually busy chatting with friends at the expense of their jobs. These sites have been greatly utilized to find long lost friends, people obtaining spouses and soul mates, and as an avenue for solitude evasion. Also, use of social networks has led to breaking down of social units such as family because of lack of effective communication. In most cases teenagers are always confined in their bedrooms chatting with their peers through social networks, listening to deafening music or watching movies rather than participating in the family events. It has therefore become difficult for parents to keenly observe their kids or even guide them because of the influence they easily get from the outside.
Mobile phones have not been left behind in the proliferation of technology either. In case of emergency or when one is in need of being encouraged or given a piece of advice from a friend or sibling, passing of that information to the relevant recipient is just a click of button away. Presently, mobile phones have been advanced to send money by Western Union and other money sending agencies. This means you can pay your bills wherever you are. Television has also been used to strengthen families and friendship by watching programs you enjoy together, talking up on your favorite actors and presenters and news anchors.
In education sector, technology has facilitated long distance learning which has made education to be more accessible. It has also led to sharing of knowledge by scholars through exchange programs without necessarily meeting and that has reduced the cost of education in terms of transport or materials which were in the past like books. In terms of political developments it has led leaders to be more close to the people and vice versa. For example, leaders have reached their supporters through social sites like face book and twitter on the other hand the populace can easily communicate with their leaders using the same means. Technology has also led to accountability because people are always on the watch and the leaders always know it. For example, the police fear using brutal force because it can be caught in camera and maybe posted on you tube or other sites.
Technology has led to social evils such as pornography and violent cinemas have become easily accessible to children and teenagers alike. This has led to social decay in the society where teenagers have joined gangs and indulge in dangerous premarital sex after feeding their mind with pornography and drugs which has led to loss of life and mature adults who are irresponsible. Technology has also led to rise of religious extremism and intolerance especially when negativity is used to incite people against each other. For example, a normal incident which may result to death may be turned by media or social sites in to a racial or religious conflict with tremendous negative impacts.
Solitude is not all that negative as it is portrayed to be. Deresiewicz notes that we need to be in a state of isolation to discover ourselves; our strengths and weaknesses, to preserve our integrity and meditate about our lives. A person may update a status on Facebook in order to obtain numerous likes and comments as opposed to what he/she feels or perceives. This desire to impress others or appear popular barrickade us from our true potential
Technology advancement is highly lauded and greatly encouraged as it simplifies and improves our lives ranging from eliminating boredom, reconnecting with long lost friends, and saving lives among other very vital benefits. However, technology usage must be monitored lest we face the consequences of an evil society. Programs relayed on televisions must be reviewed and passed fit for watching by all ages without causing uneasiness. The use of social networks must be regulated so that comments posted are neither incitement nor are they racially inclined or meant to intimidate some religious groups. Moreover, photos posted by people on social sites should be censored. Students, whether in college or university, must be encouraged to adhere to their studies and use technology to enhance their performance in school rather than indulge in excessive recreation which can lead to their morals and behavioral downfall.
I think that for us to maintain the human connection that existed before the advancement of technology, we ought to reflect on our lives in terms of recognizing those elements that are of importance to our existence. We should not allow technology to replace our culture as the human race. We should embrace unity, sharing and being there for each other to console and celebrate. Elements that enhance human connection should be incorporated in the school’s curriculum to help kids adapt to that culture from a young age. This will ensure that as a society we are able to develop individuals who stand on good beliefs and moral values despite the change in technology.
It is clear that technology has the ability to harm or improve one’s social skills and social life. The important thing is to analyze how technology influences one’s socially. We should only allow technology to influence our lives positively. Technology can influence one’s thinking and behavior in both a negative and positive way. We should allow our conscience to guide us in doing what is right. That way the world will enjoy peace and tranquility even as advances in technology continue to take place. Our morals as human are of great importance in ensuring the negative influences of technology do not become part of our daily lives.