3 Ways Technology is Ruining Society

I don’t know how to say this without sounding like a deranged talkback radio caller, so I’ll just say it: advances in mobile phone technology are destroying the fabric of our society. Social media is ruining how we behave around each other and it’s making us less social than ever.

Sure, you can dismiss me. I see you there, laughing behind your smug hipster beard, sipping your foamless soy chai latte while you retweet an instagrammed photo of your lunch. Well that’s no surprise. You’re already lost. Maybe it’s not too late for the rest of you out there to help put a stop to the behaviours that plague us, such as…

1. Pavlov’s Dog Syndrome

Remember Pavlov’s dog AKA classical conditioning? Russian physiologist I.P. “Freely” Pavlov showed that by ringing a bell every time he fed his dogs, they came to associate the sound of the bell with food. Hence, every time he rang the bell, the dogs would salivate and expect a tasty treat even when no food was present. Well guess what schmucks? That’s exactly what’s happened to us, but instead of a bell it’s the sounds of our phones that turn us into slobbering fools.

English: Portrait of Ivan Pavlov, Russian phys...

Pavlov himself is disappointed in us. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The troubling behaviour:

Ermahgerd! My phone made a noise or vibration! I MUST CHECK IT AT ALL COSTS. IMMEDIATELY. NOT A SECOND CAN BE SPARED. I better totally disregard whatever social situation I’m physically in and instead check who’s poked me on Facebook. BECAUSE MY LIFE HAS NO MEANING IF I DON’T FIND OUT WHO POKED ME RIGHT THIS INSTANT.

How it is ravaging us:

This is devastating at every level. You could be at work, in a classroom, out to dinner with family, having a coffee with a friend or even AT THE GODDAMN MOVIES, and you or someone you’re with will whip out their phone to check it. It’s like we have no idea what colossal a-holes we’ve become. How have we gone downhill so quickly? Didn’t our parents raise us better than this? I remember being told to sit up straight and pay attention to people when they talk. To make eye contact, to listen, not to interrupt. I was told it was rude to yawn, to stop paying attention or to start doing something else. So why the hell have we thrown out all those rules now that smartphones are a thing?

2. Obsessive Behaviour and Total Impatience

Instead of cognitive power and memory, we now have a pocket-sized device to do all our thinking for us. But with this great power also came great laziness. We’ve lost all will to pay attention. We never need to remember things any more, and so if we want to know something we need to know now, or in a few moments time we might forget the very thing we need so desperately to know. It’s the age of instant gratification.

The troubling behaviour:

What was the name of that guy who played Rembrandt in Sliders? I know there was Jerry O’Connell and they had a few different girls. And then there was the fat guy with the beard. You know, he was in Indiana Jones and then he was Gimli? But the guy who played Rembrandt… What was his name? I think it started with a C? Like Cleveland maybe? But no that’s the Cleveland Show/Family Guy thing I’m confusing it with. Was it a C? Was it? I HAVE TO KNOW RIGHT NOW GODDAMN IT. Oh it was Cleavant Derricks.

How it is ravaging us:

We are devolving as a society and reverting to a child-like state where we have no attention span and can’t just wait a goddamn minute for an answer to present itself. We can’t let anything go. These things affect me every day. Often I’ll be listening to music and Emma will get fidgety trying to remember what the song title is. Eventually she will give up and ask me what it is rather than wait another two seconds for the artist to inevitably sing the very line that is the title. And it’s not just songs, it’s movies and TV too. We just can’t wait for a plot to unfold anymore, and instead we interrupt each other with annoying questions instead of focusing on what’s right in front of us. It’s no wonder we’re firmly entrenched in the Michael Bay era of cinema history. If the screen doesn’t have boobs or an explosion or a boobsplosion we just can’t figure out what’s happening anymore.

Gasoline explosions, simulating bomb drops at ...

“It’s good, but it could use more boob.” – Michael Bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. Lack of Self-Censorship

In days gone by, the only reason you’d have to suffer through all the details about what someone had for breakfast or what dull tasks made up their day was if you were trying to get into their pants. Not anymore. Now we can see what all our friends are eating, how much they lift at the gym, when they went to get groceries and so much more, because that’s what we use Facebook for these days. Not to communicate with people, but to broadcast our pathetic lives in a desperate plea for attention.

The troubling behaviour:

Oh man, I’ve been dying to check out this restaurant. Wait a sec, hang on just let me check-in first… Okay. Yeah this great! Wow! This food looks amazing! Wait, wait, wait. Nobody start eating I need to take a picture first. Just hang on… and got it. Woah I’m stuffed! Better hit the gym to burn of those calories. Hang on I’ve just got to check-in first. Oh wow look at this inspirational workout quote superimposed over some ripped abs. I’m totally gonna share this! This banal quote totally encapsulates everything that I stand for!

How it is ravaging us:

Facebook now reads like the most depressing of life resumes, documenting a cacophony of mundane horrors. It’s too much information with too little value. What has become of us that we no longer have the ability to screen ourselves? To take a moment to pause and consider whether the rest of society needs to know how many times we go to KFC after midnight? Do our peers really want to look at more photos of us at nightclubs pulling our usual sexy pose?

In conclusion:

I’ve been guilty of all of the above at different times, and I hate myself for it. Does all this crap bother you too? Am I the only one who feels like shaving my hair and eyebrows and running off to join some sort of anti-technology commune? Maybe I’ve just been watching too many episodes of The Following. I do love me some Kevin Bacon. And who doesn’t?

Advertisements

One thought on “3 Ways Technology is Ruining Society

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s