Is technology making us lonely?

“Within this world of instant and absolute communication, unbounded by limits of time or space, we suffer from unprecedented alienation. We have never been more detached from one another, or lonelier. In a world consumed by ever more novel modes of socializing, we have less and less actual society. We live in an accelerating contradiction: the more connected we become, the lonelier we are. We were promised a global village; instead we inhabit the drab cul-de-sacs and endless freeways of a vast suburb of information.”

What do you think?

6 Responses to “Is technology making us lonely?”

  1. ariannaon 18 Apr 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I don’t have much to say beyond that I agree? But I’ll add more if I think of something…sad, though. I guess it’s good for me because I’m kind of an antisocial person in many ways, but it’s still not very healthy. I feel that we’re missing out on a lot. =/

  2. Chrison 19 Apr 2012 at 9:49 pm

    From my perspective, it isn’t really – I’ve made wonderful friends online that I’ve met in real life later.
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  3. […] “Is technology making us lonely?” […]

  4. Paton 20 Apr 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Sometimes, yes. I find myself sitting here looking on-line when I need to be in my garden with nature or taking a walk.

    But, the computer allows me to keep in better touch with my daughter who is 400 miles away and with friends who I don’t see very often.

    But I think the computer also changes the way we communicate. Rather than leave me a message on my answering machine, people figure I will check caller ID and just call them back. This is no way to communicate! I blame i-phones and computers for this – the assumptions in a digital world!

  5. Cap Jon 23 Apr 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t mean to undermine anyone’s feeling of loneliness, but I disagree with the notion that technology makes us lonely. I think that’s like saying beer makes us alcoholics or guns make us murderers.
    I think technology is a tool and how we use it is up to us. There were times in the 90s when I would spend more time online chatting with friends than was healthy for me but I’ve learned to manage past that. I have several hundred facebook friends; celebrating their joys and sharing their sorrows adds to my emotional connectivity.
    And I would echo Pat’s point about being better in touch with friends who are far away. I love the closeness I’ve developed with friends from undergrad who are half a continent away; I don’t think this has hurt my closeness with local friends.
    It’s amazing to me that it could take months for national election results to be tabulated and communicated in the mid-1800s, but we can know in near real-time that Dick Clark passed away some 3,000 miles distant. Truly, we live in the future and it’s up to us to use these technological tools for our betterment or at least not for harm. Therein lies a sermon topic for another day.

  6. Marshaon 27 Apr 2012 at 12:51 am

    The ease with which we can quickly and conveniently share knowledge (or cute pictures of LOLcats!) is truly amazing. I am grateful to have access to technology that helps me keep in touch with far-off friends—and to meet new friends (like Chris, who commented above) online.
    That said, I find that for me, personally (YMMV), having such ready access to this communication means makes it more difficult for me to sustain substantive interactions with many people. Now there is SO MUCH out there to interact with that I often have trouble keeping up with it. (And by “it” I’m just referring to stuff that I’m personally connected to, not the whole Internet. I know better than to try to drink from a fire hose!) And people are pushing information out there all the time—so much so that some people I’m connected with assume if they post news of Significant Events on their social networks, everyone else will of course see it. I often miss these things and do end up feeling a little isolated.
    I’m a little torn on this issue. On the one hand, I love how these technologies enable the rapid spread of information and ideas; on the other hand, sometimes I think this spread is so rapid (particularly when it comes to dealings with friends) that the connection can feel superficial—or be missed completely.
    I am up way past my bedtime (just finished a work project) and starting to ramble incoherently, so I will just shut up now. :)
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