by Chris Black
If you were wondering what’s wrong with our society, today we’ve just find the answer. Maybe. The thing is, I’ve always suspected that too much technology is going to alienate people and, after a while, totally obliterate what makes us human. And what makes us human after all? Well, maybe the fact that we’re very social and also very smart creatures, who used to enjoy other people’s company. Let me explain: this is not a myth, but God’s honest truth: back in the day, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth freely (like in the eighties), people used to enjoy other people’s company. I am not kidding. As that old adage goes, back in the day (even though I am not THAT old) people used to own books a, and some of them actually read them. Moreover, when people met in pubs or at a ball game or whatever “public” event, they used to talk about various things, like the last book they’ve read, or a good art-movie, or a nice play…you know the drill. Well, if you’re born after the last rain, you actually don’t, but that’s not the point.
The point is, today’s young generation was raised on the Internet and sucks its life-juice from smartphones and similar smart-gadgets. And I mean that literally. When I first discovered the Internet, back in the late 90s, I had already amassed what it’s generally being called a classical education, and I’ve already read hundreds of books, including philosophy, political science, world-history, classic literature and science fiction. I was perfectly capable of sustaining a PvP conversation, without constantly pecking at my smartphone or “google-ing” stuff out. This seems not to be the case anymore.
Now, if you’re wondering what I am blathering about, check this out: according to a study performed by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization of sorts, more than 2 in 3 teens would prefer to communicate online with their friends, rather than “Face to Face”, or “Player vs Player” (the PvP reference in the paragraph above).
Do you think this is not huge news? In my world, this is maybe the most depressing news of the century. And the century is still young. Just six years ago, almost half of the young people interviewed, 49 percent respectively, would have preferred to talk to their friends “mano a mano”, or in person. Now, the percent of “normal people” dropped to 32. Something big is going on here, I tell you. Just 2 decades ago, people were very, but very different. Technology and social media is turning people into robots. Just look at Mark Zuckerberg. He’s the poster child of the new era. He’s basically a robot trying to look and act human. And he invented Facebook, which also owns Instagram. And he regularly malfunctions when in public.
On a more serious note, the company that performed this worrying study is based in San Francisco and promotes safe media/technology for children. The point being, they’re not tin-foil hat crazies, nor conspiracy theorists, but seriously concerned citizens. To give you more juicy stuff from the study, almost 90 percent of teens own a smartphone nowadays, compared to 41 percent 6 years ago. 7 in 10 use social media like Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook more than once a day, that compared to 34 percent back in 2012. 38 percent of our youngsters use social media obsessively, as in multiple times an hour, while a whopping 16 percent basically live their pathethic lives on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. As in, they peck constantly at their smartphones to see who gave them likes, or scroll down their timelines mindlessly, constantly. As in non stop. Around the clock. Even when they sleep I reckon.
The good news is that Facebook use dropped dramatically among the trendies, with just 15 percent of teens saying they use lord Zucc’s social media platform the most. Six years ago, the percent of teens using Facebook as their main social-media playground was 68 percent.
Why the future doesn’t need us, you asked?