<strong>By Julia Holzapfel </strong>
The saying, “one step forward and two steps back,” applies to the state of our society. As we reach expansive new frontiers of technological achievement, the human brain, social connections and creativity are dying a slow death, rather like a frog that meets its untimely end by bathing in a pot of slowly boiling water, utterly unaware of its impeding death.
As people are increasingly able to “connect” from anywhere with anyone through the use of smartphones, social networking and constant on-the-go sensory stimulation, we are ironically growing more disconnected from one another. Where once a sense of community existed, our culture now supports, more than ever, separation and independence, as modeled in modern suburban environments where each person is contained in their own “box.”
Technology is advancing at a speed which human development, adaptation, laws, and ethics cannot match. People are constantly hooked in, but are decreasingly present in the current moment. In waiting rooms, people no longer engage in friendly small talk, instead each patron sits quietly staring at the bright screen in their hands. Why aren’t more people questioning how healthy this behavior is?
As people gain access to this virtual world, it seems the real world shrinks before their eyes. What makes a virtual community more desirable then a physical community? How is this onslaught of technological development going to affect future generations?