iPhones, iPads, Laptops, Smart TVs, Skype, Facebook, Twitter, all these things were designed to “make our lives easier”, however what they’ve really all done is simply fragment and belittle what little actual human interaction we as a society already has had left. Any resemblance of nuance in the world is replaced with the binary “Like” or “Retweet”.
“Two of your friends like your post”, Facebook tells me. What the hell does that even mean? Do they find it funny? Do they actually ‘like’ it has it were? Or is it simply a statement of of acknowledgement? I have no freaking clue. Before the ‘like’ world in which we all live in today, I could say something and actually get a human response: a chuckle, a smile, a wink, a nod. Today all of these human emotions are boiled down to just one word, ‘Like’.
Some social services, like Path for example see this as a problem, and offer you multiple emotions to respond to a post. You can smile, or wink at a post for example. Although this is the right direction, getting a notification saying “John Doe smiled at your post” is kind of creepy in some respects. Feels a bit like I’m getting stalked.
Furthermore, the current means of communication, although created for speed, are quite a bit slower than those of the analog world. I could send you an email and it could take up to a day for you to respond, whereas if I just called you I could get the response right then and there.
Maybe it’s my love of nostalgia that’s getting in the way of our increasingly digital world. I love real tactile textures like wood grain, leather, and brushed steel. I would much rather take a meeting with someone over coffee, than doing it over Skype or via email. These items just seem more real to me, more genuine, more human.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The digital world has brought us many insanely great things that would just be impractical in the analog world. For example, my friend was studying abroad in Argentina, and we communicated largely through Facebook message and Skype. I know about how their time was there, because we stayed in touch throughout the experience. This would be impossible without modern technologies.
Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but I love the analog world. I don’t want it to slip away.