Sitting in a waiting room today, I looked around and realized there was no conversation going on. Across the entire room I counted 17 people. They were all engaged with hand held devices. The handful of children were clustered around their parent’s devices.
Nobody was reading a magazine or newspaper. Nobody was talking. It was eerie. A room full of people and no eye contact, no conversation, no engagement.
It was spooky.
What happened to parents reading stories to children, knitting, writing, reading or talking to each other to to strangers? As our technology gets more savvy, we lose a bit more of our humanity. As technology upgrades year after year, our children lose out on some of the sweetest things of all – playtime, puzzles, socialization, and interaction.
A solitary game of Angry Birds replaces Tic-Tac-Toe. A word game of Words with Friends replaces a family playing Scrabble, Boggle or Hangman. Technology isn’t bad but when it takes the place of connecting, socializing and engaging with the people around you then it has overstepped it’s usefullness.
- iPod Isolation (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Should iPods carry health warnings? (theregister.co.uk)
- School bans iPods (smh.com.au)
12 thoughts on “iPods and Isolation”
I have noticed the same thing on public transport. It certainly isn’t like it used to be. Friends sitting together on the bus, but nobody is saying a word, eyes down and doing whatever on their iPad, smart phones etc. When I see this, especially with the younger generation, I can see eye problems just waiting to happen, I notice a lot of people squinting, not a good sign. 😦
This is ultimately why I got rid of Facebook – instead of connecting me with people it actually kept me isolated.
I never even thought about the deterioration of eyesight. The screen is small and in my experience, after looking at the screen for a bit of time, I notice my eyes hurt due to concentration, lighting, and intense focus. Next they’ll come up with a iPod prescription for iPod Intensity (like 3-D) for the “Person who lives to PLAY!”
Facebook allows me to connect with family members who live miles away and have never learned to phone, write or visit. In their defense, I’ve not learned the art of texting … so Facebook connect the old (me) with the young (them).
I rarely visit Facebook and hardly ever post there because it’s so congested and also because Facebook has gone corporate and tends to suck everything they can out of the user. They take identity, names, dates, connections and sell that information to the highest bidder. Facebook will soon be a thing of my past too – I can feel it.
I’ve known people who were so involved with their conversations on their handless phones that they didn’t react at all when you (standing three feet away) said “hello” to them. They seemed completely disconnected from the real universe. (Probably that’s what makes phone conversations while driving so dangerous!)
It is rare to hear conversation on an airplane anymore…remember how it used to be?
Sad but true observation. When I get into the elevator in the hospital I am often impressed with how many people will whip out their handhelds and check whatever has their fancy during that brief trip. I heard a news report recently about how the advent of technology was predicted to allow us to work less hours/week. Only a couple of decades later that technology hasn’t decreased our workload at all but actually increased it! Amazing how we(humans) can take something that should be great and make it a chore:)
It’s the disconnected aspect that bothers me. It’s good to have something to occupy my time while I’m waiting ever so long (ahem…) but what did we have before? Books, hobbies, people watching, even community tv. Alas…
Yes airplanes were the one place where you could get glimpses into lives, issues, families and now it’s rare to hear a whole sentence. I wonder, is it a world wide issue?
Yes, computers were suppose to free us up to do …. what? It’s just a different sort of job with more computer time and less people interaction time.
Now kids get into cars and turn on the dvd so there is no family talk time either. NO singing, no playing games, no sharing daily news. And those years fly by so quickly…
Hello. I remember talking to strangers. I rather like it. I took my daughter to the dentist yesterday and waited with my grandsons ages 3 yrs and 11 weeks old. Xavier took all of the toys out of the box and I noticed there were blocks with letters on them. I took the baby over and we all sat on the floor to look at the blocks. We sounded out words. That wasn’t really remarkable but what happened to the others in the room was. Several people looked at me curiously? I felt conspicuous. Soon everyone was watching us and talking with us. It was fun!
And it was interesting that you would write about this and you are right on about the scary place technology has brought us. Xavier has tantrums when his allotted computer time is up. Great topic! Thanx!
Ta Ta for now, Cathy the Bagg Lady
HI Cathy, I see it with my grandson too. He is absorbed in using a computer and watching tv. When he was at my house last week, I asked him if he wanted to watch tv and he said ‘No’ … why? Because we were having fun playing with homemade towers, cowboys wearing bandana and boots, hiding objects and finding them, and all the other activities that don’t include an On-Off button. Imagine that!