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Technology Doesn't Make Us Less Social; It Just Changes The Way We Socialize

from the as-much-as-a-menace-to-society-as-baggy-pants-and-impertinent-hairdos dept

As the technology we hold in the palms of our hands continues to become more immersive, the narrative is pushed that smartphones and tablets are turning us into anti-social screen gazers, more interested in the world contained in the cloud than the world that surrounds us. But is this really a new narrative? Is it only now that we've become so entranced by streams of information that we've begun shutting out the sensory underload of everyday life?

This image, sent to us by Techdirt reader techinabox, shows that not much has changed over the last 100 years.


Yes, the printed word, applied to paper, is more interesting than conversing with others or simply staring vacantly into space. For most people in a forcibly "social" situation -- like waiting for mass transportation -- having a smartphone or newspaper to "disappear" into rather than trying to engage in conversation with dozens of people they don't know or care about is a plus, rather than an indicator of societal collapse. Put these people into situations with friends and acquaintances and its very likely the distractions will recede into the background. And even if they don't, there's likely a lot more "sharing" going on than can be perceived with the predisposed eye.

This "smartphones are inherently antisocial" narrative leads us directly to this -- a wholly hilarious dismantling of a restaurant's haughty pre-judging of its potential customers.

If you can't read/see it, it says in boldly hand-written letters:
NO 'WiFi' ……….
TALK TO EACH OTHER.
CALL YOUR MOM.
PRETEND IT'S 1993.
LIVE.
The internet has no time for your neo-Luddite attitude, unnamed restaurant. Commenters quickly followed the line of thought to its logical conclusion.
NO “TELEPHONES”. TALK TO EACH OTHER. FACE TO FACE ONLY. WRITE A LETTER. SEND A TELEGRAM TO YOUR MOM. PRETEND IT’S 1860. LIVE.

NO ‘WRITING’… TALK TO EACH OTHER. THROW A ROCK AT YOUR MOM. PRETEND IT’S 10,000 BCE. LIVE.

NO ‘HIGHER BRAIN FUNCTIONS’ …USE YOUR REPTILIAN BRAIN
EAT YOUR MOM’S CORPSE SHE DIED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH SUSTENANCE
PRETEND YOU HAVE JUST AROSE FROM THE SEA
SURVIVE


NO “MULTICELLULAR TRAITS”….. USE YOUR SYMBIOTIC MITOCHONDRIA
REPRODUCE ASEXUALLY, YOU’RE YOUR OWN PARENT
PRETEND IT’S 2BYA
EVOLVE


NO “LIFE.” USE FUNDAMENTAL PHYSICAL FORCES TO FORM SPHERICAL OBJECTS REVOLVING AROUND ONE ANOTHER IN SPACE.
FUSE HYDROGEN INTO HELIUM USING GRAVITATIONAL PRESSURE TO PRODUCE HEAT AND LIGHT.
PRETEND IT’S 4.5BYA.
STABILIZE INTO EQUILIBRIA


NO “MATTER”. EXIST IN THE VOID WITHOUT PURPOSE OR MEANING.
THERE IS NO “YOU”, ONLY THE VAST CONCEPT OF NOTHING.
TIME DOES NOT EXIST.
BE
Nobody likes to be talked down to by a handwritten banner, especially one that insinuates that anyone without a WiFi signal will be forced to "live," rather than engage with their electronics. The world was a better place in 1993, according to this sign. It so, then it follows that life was at its truest form before life even began.

Which brings us to restaurants and their uneasy embrace of technology. A number have already declared they will kick out Google Glass wearers and cell phone users. Some chefs have insisted that photographing their food "robs" them of their "intellectual property." And one restaurant in particular blamed smartphones for its slow service, using a lot of anecdotal evidence disguised as research. Oddly, this "message" was delivered in the most "new media" fashion possible, via a (now deleted) Craigslist "rant."

Here's a portion of it.
26 out of 45 customers spend an average of 3 minutes taking photos of the food.

14 out of 45 customers take pictures of each other with the food in front of them or as they are eating the food. This takes on average another 4 minutes as they must review and sometimes retake the photo.

9 out of 45 customers sent their food back to reheat. Obviously if they didn’t pause to do whatever on their phone the food wouldn’t have gotten cold.

27 out of 45 customers asked their waiter to take a group photo. 14 of those requested the waiter retake the photo as they were not pleased with the first photo. On average this entire process between the chit chatting and reviewing the photo taken added another 5 minutes and obviously caused the waiter not to be able to take care of other tables he/she was serving.
Even if everything presented as fact were indeed true, the restaurant blames its service issues on its customers, rather than realizing two things: 1.) a comparison of two nights roughly a decade apart is hardly evidence of anything and 2.) there's a whole lot of positive aspects that are being ignored out of concern over turn time.
As a common venue for celebratory dinners, birthdays, and bachelorette parties, TAO Downtown does take lot of photos, Duxbury says, but that’s “absolutely not” bad for the restaurant. “Those pictures go up on social media, some of them instantly on Instagram and Facebook, and it gets us out there,” he says.

Other chefs, waiters, and restaurateurs echo this sentiment. John Kapetanos, owner of Ethos in Manhattan’s Midtown East—the same neighborhood as the anonymous Craigslist poster—says maybe 10 percent of his customers ask the waiter to take a group photo; it’s a favor that takes less than a minute and doesn’t slow down service. Over the 12 years Ethos has been in business, Kapetanos says cellphones have added maybe five to 10 minutes to the average table time, but that he doesn’t mind as long as diners at one table aren’t bothering those at another. Jean-Marte, a waiter at a French restaurant in Midtown who declined to give his last name, concurs that taking photos of customers doesn’t slow his stride. He adds that smartphones can even be quite helpful when dealing with foreign tourists who don’t understand the menu. “It’s easier for them to go on the website or on Yelp, and they can show you a picture and say, ‘This is what I want,’ ” he explains.
Going further, the march of technology has sped up other aspects of food service, including inputting orders and settling bills.
It’s just part of our lives now,” says Michael Scelfo, chef and owner of the recently opened Alden & Harlow in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “Back in the old days, if you wanted to pay with your credit card, someone had to physically go and carbon-copy it and write information on it. Now they can swipe it on their phone tableside. How much time does that save?”
The fear that technology controls our lives rather than vice versa is omnipresent and moves towards smart cars, connected household devices and Google Glass only feed into that. It's very tempting for even those who tout technological advances to express apprehension about the perceived progression towards a more introverted society that interacts mainly through third parties. This fear isn't entirely misplaced, but the real question is whether it should actually be viewed with trepidation.

Technology has changed the way we communicate, but it hasn't eliminated communication. The supposed dearth of face-to-face interaction can be traced all the way back to dated pursuits like reading newspapers or playing chess. Nothing really changes. We may find more people blundering down the street staring at a phone screen rather than the sidewalk in front of them, but extrapolating carelessness and (yes) rudeness into some sort of societal collapse isn't an original idea, or even a recent one. Anything beneficial is ignored to portray an army of dead-eyed techno-captives ruining the world, one Tweet/Instagram/Facebook update at a time. It's not any truer now than it was back when people stood shoulder-to-shoulder staring intently at the newspaper in front of them.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 8th, 2014 @ 9:02pm

    The image sent in is somewhat revealing, but it is a snapshot of a second of time, not a whole day. It doesn't tell the real story, but it's easy to draw a misleading conclusion from it.

    Historically, people didn't spend all day with a newspaper up to their face. They didn't bring their work files, personal mail, notes, and such with them to lunch and purposely ignore the other people at the table to deal with them. They didn't walk blindly down the street (and into parking meters, poles, and each other) playing games on paper.

    A true story: Recently I went to dinner with my wife and son. Next to us was a young couple on a "hot" date. She's looking lovely in a pretty dress, nice makeup and hair, jeweler... he's dressed like he just stepped out of the Men's Health fashion section. Perfect date night? He's playing some sort of MPU, she's playing a variant of bejeweled on her phone, and they are ignoring each other. They stop for 10 seconds to order, and stop for another 10 seconds as the food arrives, and continue to play as they eat. They sat next to us for over an hour, and in that time did not say more than 3 or 4 words to each other. I suspect the only conversation might have come if one or the other got a low battery warning. This is what they consider a "good time". Kind of wild, really.

    The problem is that in a society where smart phones and good data speeds are common, I can tell you that people generally ignore each other and spend their entire lives tied to their "Device" of choice. They watch TV on it, they play games, they stick on their headphones and the rest of the world disappears. It's really wild to be on a subway packed full of people in near silence as everyone is traced into their portables.

    The social part? It's when two people 5 feet apart text each other rather than talking, because it's so hard to communicate without emoticons. That's truly sad.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2014 @ 9:29pm

    Re:

    This gives a lot of insight into why you're such a troll here. You live in a different century - "the good ol' days when people really talked to each other..."

    The problem is that things aren't the way you think they were and they aren't the way you think they are now. That couple you describe might not like being social in public. It's entirely possible that they're both introverts who wanted a nice dinner but didn't feel like having conversations in front of other people. Maybe they're just socially awkward to begin with and having electronic devices gives them something to do with their awkward energy. And this would be normal. It's not weird and it's not different than the way many people have been in the past.

    I'm an introvert with ADD. When I was a kid, before everyone had a smart phone or even a cell phone, I'd have a small notebook in my pocket and I'd pull it out and write down my thoughts to avoid having to make eye contact with people because they'd want to make tedious small talk or they'd have some absurd expectation that I was going to be as social as they are.

    The web, chat rooms, email, instant messaging, personal websites - these things helped me be more social because they helped me find people I actually wanted to talk to - people who didn't care how I responded to meaningless questions like "how are you today?"

    So yeah, I'll pull out my cellphone when I'm in the line at Starbucks because I'm avoiding making eye contact with people who think it's just fine to talk up complete strangers about whatever is on their minds. Usually they get the hint or they're too self-involved to care that I'm not being social. Instead, I'm chatting with my wife on my phone and having actually interesting conversations. Sometimes we even chat on our phones across the table because we don't want people to eavesdrop. Sometimes we google things as we chat to better inform the conversation.

    Just because you remember a time when things were a certain way and you think that was good, it wasn't necessarily good for other people.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2014 @ 9:56pm

    Re:

    "A meaningless story:"
    Ftfy. I've got at least three dozen stories - from my dad and his dad - of friends, couples, and acquaintances sitting together and twiddling their thumbs. Hard to believe, I know, but "anti"-social thumb-twiddling is a lot older than the first "Devices".

     

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  4.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 8th, 2014 @ 10:18pm

    Re: Re:

    I'm an introvert with ADD. When I was a kid, before everyone had a smart phone or even a cell phone, I'd have a small notebook in my pocket and I'd pull it out and write down my thoughts to avoid having to make eye contact with people because they'd want to make tedious small talk or they'd have some absurd expectation that I was going to be as social as they are.

    Try not to color the world with your personal issues. Not everyone has ADD, not everyone is naturally anti-social, and not everyone fears someone saying something to them. I understand your issues, but they are not the norm.

    Maybe they're just socially awkward to begin with and having electronic devices gives them something to do with their awkward energy.

    No, this was much more, it was intentionally ignoring the other person. The point of the article is that we are suppose to be just as social as before, yet this is a clear example of it not happening.

    When people would rather update their facebook status or tweet a selfie rather than deal with the people around them then we have issues. People are now downright rude, answer email, messages, tweets, and taking calls right in front of other people with no concern for the basic idea of making whoever is at the other end of the little box more important than those right in front of them. That is anti-social.

    Just because you remember a time when things were a certain way and you think that was good, it wasn't necessarily good for other people.

    your mistake here is making it a question of "good" for you or not. It's not the question raised. The question is "are we more or less social", and I gave an opinion. I understand that someone in your position would love significantly less social interaction, that you would like to toss out the need for the polite "good morning" in the elevator... that is you. It's perhaps the best proof that we are less social, because someone who craves less social interaction loves the current situation. Thanks for helping to prove the story isn't right.

     

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  5.  
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    Kal Zekdor (profile), Aug 8th, 2014 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re:

    From your story, it sounds like the couple in question "hooked up" because the other one was attractive, but soon found they had absolutely nothing in common with each other, and each was using their phones to avoid what would otherwise be a forced social situation.

    Phones and other pocket devices might give people an easy means out of a social situation, but they do not inherently make people less social. When with friends or other people you actually want to talk to, devices either fall completely by the wayside, or become a central conversation piece for the group ("Hey everyone, check out this cool thing on my phone!").

     

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  6.  
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    Kal Zekdor (profile), Aug 8th, 2014 @ 10:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Meh, replied to the wrong post. That was meant for the OP.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 8th, 2014 @ 10:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not coloring the world with my "personal issues." You are correct that not everyone has ADD and not everyone is introverted (anti-social is something significantly different).

    However, there's no such thing as "the norm," because you're asserting that "most" people are a certain way. My entire point is that what you think is normal for most people is not. There are a wide variety of places to be on the spectrum of being social and wanting to engage with people via a mobile device or not engage with people in favor of a mobile device is not abnormal. People's social habits didn't change. The technology that allowed them to be more themselves did.

    You're interpreting the motives of the people you told a story about but unless you actually asked them to confirm your assumptions, you don't know that you're correct. So that story counts for nothing other than expressing your bias.

    You're completely revising history based on your bias. You don't remember that some people were socially awkward when they didn't have cell phones to interact with. You didn't see some of them because they might not have gone out in public when you were out. Maybe you were a kid and didn't observe things that you would notice now as being asocial. This line of thinking about how we as a society are less social just because we're being social in a different way than you'd prefer is bullshit and short-sighted.

    Anti-social is either being against society or not wanting to be social at all. Neither definition actually describes introverts (including myself). Introverts prefer to have more authentic relationships. I'd rather not have smalltalk with a stranger. I'd rather have a deep conversation with someone I already know. I'd rather have worthwhile conversations than chatting about the weather.

    And the fact that you use the idea that an introvert liking the availability of technology so he doesn't have to interact with annoying social people to support your assertion that people are less social means you didn't actually read what I wrote. I'm saying that introverts are more social than they would be if they didn't have mobile devices because these communication mediums enable them to be social in the ways that are worthwhile to them. Your perception that talking to strangers five feet away about whatever (or Whatever if you're egocentric) is "normal" and better than talking to the people you care about through the use of technology just shows how stuck in the past you are.

     

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  8.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 12:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd rather not have smalltalk with a stranger. I'd rather have a deep conversation with someone I already know. I'd rather have worthwhile conversations than chatting about the weather.

    What you don't get is that your preference is rather anti-social, and somewhat self defeating. All relationships start generally with "hello". Small talk turns into big talk. You just have to think about those people who you love to have deep discussions with - what was your first ever words with them?

    You seem totally confused about the difference of social norms versus overt action, I don't run around saying hello t everyone who walks by, but I know plenty of people where I live to say "hi". It's polite, and it's SOCIAL to do so. In the end, most of my friends around where I live come as a result of basic, simple, and small social interactions at the start.

    What I am seeing (living in a society who are absolutely addicted to smart phones) is that people are using them more and more to build walls and to excuse rude behavior. People use them as reasons to duck out of a room, to leave a conversation, or to put up that barrier of "don't talk to me" with the phone up, headphones on, and the blank stare at the screen. That people do this directly in front of their friends and family is particularly anti-social, as it eats into the time where social behaviors would have occurred.

    This line of thinking about how we as a society are less social just because we're being social in a different way than you'd prefer is bullshit and short-sighted.

    The issue really is that we have replaced social interaction person to person with "social media", which is the ultimate ego stroking masturbation of all. It's all about how your own life is way more important / interesting / valuable than anyone else's. It's the me generation on steroids. It's about talking AT people and not with them, and that too is very anti-social.

    Too many people now walk around in a technology bubble, headphones on, phone often in front of them as they go, concentrating on the miniture world on the screen and ignoring the world around them. They don't invite the smallest of small talk, and instead wander around purposely ignoring the world. If you think of this as social, I think you need to re-check the definitions.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 12:12am

    I've watched many a server be ignored by customers when asking if they would like to order while the customer is on their phone, then seeing the same customer whine about the service.

    Is the author one of 'those' people?

     

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  10.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I wouldn't know for sure, but the location is a vacation type destination, which generally would mean that they would have been together for the weekend at least. Each of them looked like they wanted to engage the other, but each time they put down the phone to look up, the other was too engrossed in tweeting or jeweling or whatever to even notice.

    It not the exception either, and that's what makes it scary.

     

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  11.  
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    Kal Zekdor (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 12:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    What I am seeing (living in a society who are absolutely addicted to smart phones) is that people are using them more and more to build walls and to excuse rude behavior. People use them as reasons to duck out of a room, to leave a conversation, or to put up that barrier of "don't talk to me" with the phone up, headphones on, and the blank stare at the screen. That people do this directly in front of their friends and family is particularly anti-social, as it eats into the time where social behaviors would have occurred.


    I think this is the real crux of the matter. I agree, people are increasingly using their devices as an excuse for anti-social behavior. An excuse. Think about that for a second. The impetus for the anti-social action was not the device, was not the technology. That impulse was always there, the technology just facilitated.

    Thus, I would argue that technology is allowing people to be more true to themselves.

    One could, instead, argue that the mere existence of an item which can facilitate "negative" behavior is a moral hazard, and should thus be reined in. However, besides the fact that prohibition is almost always a bad thing, and ignoring the possible economic, productive, and scientific costs associated with removal of commonplace omni-connected devices, and just covering our metaphorical ears and screaming "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" when confronted with the overwhelming humanitarian benefits enabled by the globalized communities provided by these devices, you are still, still left with the question of who gets to dictate the definition of "negative" behavior.

    (I apologize for the run-on sentence, but I hope it got the point across.)

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 1:11am

    Pretend like it's 1993? So does that mean not talk to others because they could be serial killers, Branch Davidians, or potential school shooters? No thanks, I'll stay in the present.

     

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  13.  
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    David, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 1:37am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Try not to color the world with your personal issues. Not everyone has ADD, not everyone is naturally anti-social, and not everyone fears someone saying something to them. I understand your issues, but they are not the norm.

    Well, it's work in progress.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    At least "tsssssssh" "tsssssssh" "tsssssssshhhh" coming out of over-load earbuds is easier to block out than some prick with a ghetto blaster.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 5:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Of course you would not know for sure, so wth, might as well assume you know what is going on. And then, project that one instance upon the rest of society claiming they are all the same. What a pathetic piece of bullshit that logic is.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 5:29am

    Re:

    Guess what - some people are assholes. Always has been and always will be that way regardless of what tech is available, or not.

     

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  17.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 5:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    @ whatever

    "Try not to color the world with your personal issues. Not everyone has ADD, not everyone is naturally anti-social, and not everyone fears someone saying something to them. I understand your issues, but they are not the norm."

    1. try not to be gratuitously dismissive of, well, EVERYONE; it makes it appear you have serious abnormal (borderline personality?) issues you are probably unaware of...
    2. no, not everyone is 'naturally anti-social' (but i am), but NEARLY everyone has 'natural' social anxiety and reluctance to engage for various reasons at various times...
    but, of course, you'll be the judge of that...
    3. as an aspie-lite type person, i would say online interactions make me MORE 'social' than i would be otherwise... in spite of your insistence 'social' means face-to-face interacxtion, you are ignoring how media IS social, whatever the technical means... *this* is a form of social interaction, and were it not here i would be scribbling in journals the world would never see...
    (you would say 'thankfully so', because that is how you roll...)
    4. your judgmental attitude based on AN anecdote is telling: there are any of a MILLION reasons why they were validly doing what they were (that is granting your recitation of events, which i have good reason to doubt), and only one is as a metaphor for the destruction of interpersonal communication...
    in fact, here is one overriding reason: because they fucking felt like it...
    make no mistake: communication IS debased and degraded on all kinds of levels, but that is because of the political and MEDIA (NOT MEDIUM) corruption...

    in short, video didn't kill the cerebrum...

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Try not to color the world with your personal issues. Not everyone has ADD, not everyone is naturally anti-social, and not everyone fears someone saying something to them. I understand your issues, but they are not the norm.

    1. Relate single anecdote (most likely exaggerated), pretending this proves the norm.
    2. Someone responds with a detailed personal story explaining one possible reason for said behavior.
    3. Respond by insulting that person and dismissing them because it's not the norm.

    Incredible. So, in your world, a single anecdote proves a story, but this guys single possible explanation can be tossed away because it's "not the norm."

    Okay, then. I went out for dinner with my wife and son and everyone in the restaurant was talking to each other and enjoying a good time. I didn't see anyone fiddling around with their phones. By your logic, I've just proved you wrong, because my anecdote "beats" your anecdote.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Try not to color the world with your personal issues. Not everyone has ADD, not everyone is naturally anti-social, and not everyone fears someone saying something to them. I understand your issues, but they are not the norm.

    1. Relate single anecdote (most likely exaggerated), pretending this proves the norm.
    2. Someone responds with a detailed personal story explaining one possible reason for said behavior.
    3. Respond by insulting that person and dismissing them because it's not the norm.

    Incredible. So, in your world, a single anecdote proves a story, but this guys single possible explanation can be tossed away because it's "not the norm."

    Okay, then. I went out for dinner with my wife and son and everyone in the restaurant was talking to each other and enjoying a good time. I didn't see anyone fiddling around with their phones. By your logic, I've just proved you wrong, because my anecdote "beats" your anecdote.

     

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  20.  
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 6:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To address your points:

    1. I could relate you hundreds of similar stories. It's not my site, perhaps if Mike invites me to guest post one day I can go a little further with it. The example was just that, an example, not the only case.

    2. I understand their personal story, it's not uncommon. However, that particular issue makes very comfortable hiding behind the phone, and feel (or at least wish) it was the norm, and not considered out of line.

    3. The point isn't to insult them, it's only to say that their personal issues may put them in a position of wishing everyone else was more like them, as it would make their situation less noticeable.

    So, in your world, a single anecdote proves a story, but this guys single possible explanation can be tossed away because it's "not the norm."

    I can give you dozen or more examples, but that isn't the point. His explanation is fine from where he sits, but I think we can all agree that his social discomfort isn't the societal average.

    By your logic, I've just proved you wrong, because my anecdote "beats" your anecdote.

    Not at all. I am not claiming my example to be all encompassing, that is you trying to make my comments into an absolute. They are not, they are my observation from a place where cell phones and tablets are an integrated part of life for everyone. I see more anti social behavior perhaps because of that. Maybe you live in a place where cell phone service is expensive, or smart phones are not as common. I don't know. Your mileage may vary.

    That's why I don't claim to have the answers, I only relate what I see.

    Thanks for your input :)

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 7:09am

    There has to be balance , just like anything else in life , that starts with realizing or being taught about the upsides to all forms of social interactions, or we just become an app ourselves.

     

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  22.  
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    Richard (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Novelty

    When something is new (or new to them) people get hooked on it and overdo it for a while. A small minority become permanently hooked on it and continue much longer than everyone else. That minority is usually a larger proportion of the 8-16 agegroup at the time when the thing first becomes popular. (Hence the current 25-35 demographic for serious computer gamers). After a while it settles down. The same will happen with the current smartphone/tablet thing.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 7:51am

    Why is it that some people feel compelled to tell others what they should be doing? Within the realm of legal activities one should be allowed to make their own decisions without others being all up in their grill.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    For the exact same reasoning you posted your comment.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    While I appreciate your supposed concern for my issues, I'm perfectly fine with the way I am, and so are many other people around me. I have friends who are extroverts and we get along just fine. I don't want people to be more like me. I want them to be themselves, whatever that is, and to respect that others can be themselves also without imposing your perceived social norms upon them because you believe everyone should be more like you.

    I actually prefer if people recognize that I'm less inclined to make small talk. Being less overtly social is not, as you would assert, some kind of weird condition for which a person should feel ashamed. Hopefully insightful people will observe that some people are less social and realize that it's normal and common. Apparently you aren't open to considering that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My preference isn't anti-social or self-defeating. I'm not against being social. I'm against being pointlessly over-social and I'm against people forcing their preferences on other people. I want real, respectful relationships that are based on mutual interests and empathy rather than incidental proximity and perceived social expectations invented and espoused by extroverts who can't imagine anyone wouldn't want to be just like them.

    Not all relationships start with "hello." I met my wife online 10 years ago as a friend of a mutual online friend on a pre-Facebook social media site. Our first conversation didn't involve "hello," and it didn't involve the weather or other pointless social niceties that you might think of as polite. We immediately started being honest about who we were and what we were interested in. I didn't even consider it a possible relationship since we lived on the other side of the country from each other. But we talked online and on the phone for six months until I got some vacation time and she suggested I come out and see her. And I realized that we'd gotten past all the bullshit early months of awkward dating in our first conversation because we never started pretending to be people we weren't. And that wouldn't have happened in person. I wouldn't have been inclined to strike up a conversation with a random person (where? at a bar?) the way we struck up a conversation online. The technology facilitated us being more honest and sincere from the very beginning. And we've been together for 10 years.

    I have very low social needs. I get most of them from my wife and coworkers and friends. I'm an introvert, so being social, while sometimes enjoyable, is ultimately a drain on me and requires time for me to be alone with my thoughts. My wife is an introvert too, so this works out well. But sometimes you have to be out in public and extroverts seem to think that being out in public is a reason to be social. So I try to give people a hint by staring at my phone (and talking with my wife, who is more clever and interesting than most of the random people I might interact with in public) without being overtly rude and having to tell them I'm not interested in talking to them.

    Your assertion that social media is all about egocentrism is striking since you're apparently blind to the fact that in-person social interaction is often marked by egocentrism. You're projecting human nature onto a communication medium. You know what people do when they talk in-person? They talk about themselves. If they're "polite," they wait until you're done talking about yourself and your thoughts and interests before they start talking about their own. Expecting people to be social just because you're near them is what I perceive as being arrogant and selfish. By expecting that, you're asserting that talking to you is way more important / interesting / valuable than anyone else's choice about how they'd like to interact with the world. Just because people are in public doesn't mean they should have to conform to your preferences or perceived social norms. Some people are social. Some are less so. Some are not at all. Let everyone be themselves. Learn to spot the signs as to what people want rather than assuming they want you to talk to them. Heck, be "polite" and ask them if they're in the mood for a conversation. God forbid we consider other people rather than assume that they're just like us.

    If you think being social has only one definition, you need to invent a time machine and go into the past and see that you've invented a revisionist history. While you're there, say "hello" to other out-dated modes of thinking such as "black and white people shouldn't marry," "being gay is not natural," and "women shouldn't vote because it'll ruin society."

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 11:29am

    Who invented the rule that I have to not only listen to someone else's inanities but must offer up some of my own? I don't want to be bothered because there are other things I'd rather spend my time doing. Somehow, not giving in to other people's demands about how I spend my time is rude, a dick move, but demanding other people spend their time serving one's own need for attention is not rude or a dick move at all.

    Social etiquette is a weapon invented by extroverts so they could have something to beat introverts with.

     

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    jameshogg (profile), Aug 9th, 2014 @ 4:22pm

    Whenever I try to communicate and socialise in a night club, the music is so damned loud that I need to type a message on my phone and show the fucking phone to whoever I try to talk to.

    If any technology is supposedly to blame for anti-social behaviour, it's massive stereo speakers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    >Try not to color the world with your personal issues

    >Insists on his definition of the world

    Okay then, asshole.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 9th, 2014 @ 9:16pm

    Re:

    And of course now I think of the best response to your screed, which is to point out that you seem to spend a lot of time online being (albeit antagonizingly) social with complete strangers you otherwise would never have interacted with without this technology you claim to so object to and deride instead of having these in-person conversations you claim to value so much more. I love the smell of ironic hypocrisy in the morning.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 10th, 2014 @ 12:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your assertion that social media is all about egocentrism is striking since you're apparently blind to the fact that in-person social interaction is often marked by egocentrism. You're projecting human nature onto a communication medium. You know what people do when they talk in-person? They talk about themselves.

    You are correct, but those discussions in person are generally done with interruption - that is to say that you nobody would stand back and let either of us rail on for 400-800 words without asking a question or putting in an aside. That is the social part of it.

    Socializing comes with all those nods and "yes" and "was he really that silly?" sort of things that make up a back and forth between two or more people. We don't talk at each other, we talk with each other. Social media on the other hand generally has us talking AT people, in the same manner as exchanging short stories.

    If you want to look at it in the classical "pre technology" sort of way, imagine a life of letter writing with no actual interaction with people.

    If you think being social has only one definition

    I don't. However, I do know that social generally requires more than one being and needs to have some back and forth. You cannot be social with a tree, as an example (at least not in a way that any of us want to see), but you can be social with your pet dog. It's one of a whole bunch of ways that social exists. Unidirectional media isn't social. Ignoring the world around you to concentrate on a little screen isn't social.

    As for the rest of your comment, I would say you can paint your ignorant and racist views onto yourself, and keep your insults too.

     

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  32. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Whatever (profile), Aug 10th, 2014 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re:

    I enjoy dealing with people like you online because you are so self-defeating. Having pretty much failed in the discussion, you are quickly off to insults and attempts to paint my views as being on par with racism or being anti-gay. It's amusing and more than a little sad, because you have clearly taken personal offence to my opinion.

    See, I don't object to the technology. Technology is neutral just like a gun or a screwdriver. It's not what it is, it is how it is used. I live in an always on society and that is just the way it goes. My work has me in front of a computer 12+ hours per day, so at least some of my social interaction happens online.

    The only hypocritical thing here is that you are so quickly trying to cover up your own issues by trying to find others in me. My entire point was that your nature is not median or middle human nature, and you seen to admit and accept this. Why get upset when someone points out that you are anti-social towards the public at large, and only capable or desiring to deal with those you already know well? it's who you are. Why get upset and start calling me names?

    Heal thyself.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 6:08am

    Re:

    Historically, people didn't spend all day with a newspaper up to their face. They didn't bring their work files, personal mail, notes, and such with them to lunch and purposely ignore the other people at the table to deal with them. They didn't walk blindly down the street (and into parking meters, poles, and each other) playing games on paper.

    No, they walkeed around all day with books and magazines in their faces. In the 1980's, Walkmans helped people to tune out more. Prior to that, transistor radio's. In fact, man's ability to ignore each other has been increasing steadily for decades. And the search for distraction/occupation has probably gone on for centuries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 6:29am

    Re:

    The problem is that in a society where smart phones and good data speeds are common, I can tell you that people generally ignore each other and spend their entire lives tied to their "Device" of choice. They watch TV on it, they play games, they stick on their headphones and the rest of the world disappears.

    There has never been an era when the majority of people were great conversationalists. Pre-technology, music and various card and board games were the way to fill in the awkward silences, along with reading a book to ones companions. The player piano was a great boon to social gatherings, better music playing than most people could manage. The reading and television, and now computers, have largely taken over the role of games. All that has changed over times is the way people avoid embarrassing silences, along with the boredom of nothing to do.
    Note, if the other person is occupied, then there in no need to try and relive their boredom, and one is free to relieve ones own boredom in any manner that does not disturb the other person.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 6:39am

    Re:

    That's intentional - if you can't talk, you tend to drink more, and thus spend more.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re:

    No, is it not the same.

    1) Asking people to not demand others bend to their pov
    2) Demand others bend to their pov

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re:

    It also covers up how horrible the music is.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    The difference between smart phones and newspapers/books isn't that they've changed the interactions amongst strangers, but that it's changed the interactions amongst acquaintances. Back in the olden days before most people had cell phones we weren't constantly striking up conversations with strangers even if we didn't have reading material with us.

    With friends/acquaintances it's different. I've never been out to dinner with someone and had them pull out a book and start reading it while we were eating, and I think most people would consider it rude to do so. But many people will pull out their phones and check email or send texts or even make non-emergency calls.

    I don't agree with the restaurant owner, however, because it's not the owner's business how the guests spend their time during the meal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 10:56am

    Re:

    But many people will pull out their phones and check email or send texts or even make non-emergency calls.

    How much of that is due to bosses expecting their staff to be contactable and responsive 24/7/365?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 1:07pm

    Everyone listen up! Whatever is teaching a lesson on how to be friendly and social.

     

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    MrTroy (profile), Aug 10th, 2014 @ 7:50pm

    There's some debate to the veracity of the claim, but there is a report that technology use in restaurants is contributing to longer service times, which means longer waiting times, which gives prople the impression that the restaurant has poor service, or at least worse than it used to.

    http://ifyoucantaffordtotip.com/nyc-restaurant-compares-old-surveillance-customers-recent-shocked -results/

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 10th, 2014 @ 8:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I am very open to considering that. I am also understanding that you entirely missed the point. I don't dismiss or disagree with your personal view as it relates to you. I only note that your personality (some would say personality issues or quirks) will tend to color your view of things.

    You would like the world to be more your way, it would make it easier for YOU.

    Yes, some people are less social. Some people are TOO social. Would you prefer that the world is based on people who are TOO social?

    Do you perhaps see the problem now?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book."

    - Marcus Tullius Cicero, 106BCE-43BCE

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 10th, 2014 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You missed my earlier statement in which I said I don't want the world to be more my way. That'd be boring. I just want other people to be respectful of everyone and all the different ways that people can be.

    You seem pretty convinced of what's "normal" like it's black and white and not a thousand shades of gray.

    I recognize how I am and I recognize that some other people are more social than I'm inclined to be and I recognize that some other people are less social than I'm inclined to be. I'm okay with that as long as we all understand that these differences can and do exist. You seem to see anything outside of a narrow parameter of "being normally social" as being anti-social. It's a very myopic viewpoint. Normal isn't a middle ground between too social and not social enough. Normal is just the way everyone is different. Dismissing people's viewpoints as anti-social is itself anti-social.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 10th, 2014 @ 11:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You seem pretty convinced of what's "normal" like it's black and white and not a thousand shades of gray.

    I don't know how else to say it, except that you are wrong.

    Of course it's 1000 shades of grey. DUH! My point is only that the vast majority of the people fit in a relatively small amount of that grey. Yes, there are outlier data points in the extreme black and extreme white, but like most data, it's thin to the extreme ends.

    You seem to see anything outside of a narrow parameter of "being normally social" as being anti-social.

    Way to miss the point. Look back at the start of the article: it's a question of "does technology make us less social". The question is has technology moved us to be less social, and the answer appears to be yes. That you personally are more or less social than that isn't the point. It's only to show that perhaps you don't see the issue because you were already less social that the average and enjoy it that way.

    The story isn't about you, but you sure have succeeded in making it about yourself. Impressive for someone who isn't social and doesn't want to get engaged. Oh the hypocracy (to quote you back)!

     

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    MrTroy (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 12:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My point is only that the vast majority of the people fit in a relatively small amount of that grey. Yes, there are outlier data points in the extreme black and extreme white, but like most data, it's thin to the extreme ends.

    [Citation needed]

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 12:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "it makes it appear you have serious abnormal (borderline personality?) issues you are probably unaware of"

    Appear... yeah that's it, appear...

    I can't help giggling at this thread. The best part is the way he's berating people for not socialising with human beings the way he does. Stated in long form paragraphs constantly posted over the weekend when many other commenters were... off socialising with people. Breathtaking. The paranoid rambling about racism and name-calling is just the icing on the cake.

     

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 3:00am

    Re:

    There's some anecdotal evidence out there suggesting most people don't read all the way to the end of an article as well as a supposed groundswell of commenters demanding the option to delete their previous comments, but I really haven't seen enough hard data that confirms either of these.

     

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    Galenmereth, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 4:46am

    Yes, I too remember when people whipped out their chess boards in restaurants and cafés, and would rather play against themselves than against the person sitting opposite them. Talking to them was of course out of the question in those days, because everyone was so preoccupied playing and mulling over chess all day.

     

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    fred, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 4:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I missed the berating. Where is it exactly?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    That's definitely a factor/issue, but I was actually thinking about people who are making personal calls/texts, not work-related ones.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Enjoy your DMCA vote, cocksucker.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 8:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. You didn't even read the comment you responded to. Your perception, "that the vast majority of the people fit in a relatively small amount of that grey," is you seeing things as black and white. To which I respond with what I already said, "You seem to see anything outside of a narrow parameter of "being normally social" as being anti-social. It's a very myopic viewpoint. Normal isn't a middle ground between too social and not social enough. Normal is just the way everyone is different."

    You completely missed the point of the article. We are not less social due to technology and in fact, some of us are more social, because of the opportunities that the technology allows (like this very conversation itself). We're just differently social in a way that you myopically don't consider social. This goes back to the one definition that you have. If you think that you have to be in person to be social and you have to actually talk to people five feet away from you to interact with others and have a dialogue in society, then yes, I would agree that we are less social, though that's not because of technology - technology is just the tool we use to engaged elsewhere rather than with the people who are incidentally in our proximity. But that's not the definition of being social.

    Being social doesn't have to be face to face (once again, as this conversation proves). It also doesn't have to involve smalltalk (as this conversation proves). It doesn't even have to be polite (as this conversation proves). Chatting online, debating in a forum, speaking on the phone, texting a friend or family member, reading a newspaper and then responding to an article with a letter to the editor or discussing it later with a coworker, smiling but not talking to people near you, opening a door for someone, even ordering a latte can be social. None of this has to involve your limited definition of what being social is.

    This story isn't about me. Again, it's about everyone and how everyone is different and you seem to want to pigeon-hole the majority into a categorization that has no room for nuance and you want to call the rest anti-social because they choose to interact with the world differently than you choose to. My personal perspective is just one of many possible counter-examples to your myopic viewpoint. If I were other people, I'd give you more detail of their experiences that refute your assertions, but I'm only me right now.

     

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    Musical Dunce, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 10:05am

    Uncontrolled Social Experiment

    I disagree with the author that there is nothing new about the current technology vis a vis social interactions. There are lots of things that are new. To name just two, the smartphone technology is interactive in real-time, unlike a newspaper which required writing a letter to the editor (with a very low likelihood of a response). And, the smartphone is (generally) always on, one effect of which is that kids are having more interrupted sleep as their friends text them at all hours.

    When we put lead in gasoline and thereby raised blood-levels of lead by a factor of 100 over all previous generations of humanity, we were performing a massive uncontrolled experiment on ourselves and our environment. Likewise, we have put smartphones into the hands of a huge fraction of humanity, including our young. The long term consequences for both uncontrolled experiments are likely pervasive and difficult to see from the inside of the experiment.

    For one of the consequences of the lead experiment, do a web search for "lead crime" and read the Mother Jones articles. The 1 generation gap in time between cause and effect (and the existence of a huge number of other environmental disruptions at the same time) makes it difficult to see the cause and effect. The same temporal displacement is likely at work in any social effects of smartphone use.

     

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    nasch (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    Pretend like it's 1993? So does that mean not talk to others because they could be serial killers, Branch Davidians, or potential school shooters?

    Is that how you behaved in 1993?

     

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    Samuel Abram (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Uncontrolled Social Experiment

    That's a problematic analogy. We can choose to put our smartphones on silent. When cars had leaded gasoline, we had no choice but to breathe in leaded gas.

    While there are definitely valid concerns about privacy (hello Facebook and the NSA!), I have to say that social media has made me stay in contact with the friends I come across rather than forget about them. I can always unfriend, not follow, or in the worst-case-scenario, block them (I realize this is not the case for some other people).

    Also, it helps that my phone gets piss-poor reception where I live, so answering phone calls is tough as I have to go outside to do so.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 5:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I can't help giggling at this thread.

    I guess it's better than drooling and making weird noises... so you are improving! :)

    Seriously though, you really need to work on your reading skills. I don't berate anyone. The entire point was only that the individual in question is admitted fairly anti-social, and as such, won't see the problem the same way that people who are generally closer to the societal norms might see.

    The is no berating. That's the issue of how you read my posts again. Someone else handed you your ass last week about that too. Perhaps if you have nothing useful to add, you should just skip the post box and move back to reading the next post instead.

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 6:15pm

    Re: Re:

    There has never been an era when the majority of people were great conversationalists.

    You are correct. However, the current technology generally fills those spaces with a determined effort to ignore everyone else. Past technology generally was shared experience stuff, your examples of player piano or even TV. Generally, they gave us something to talk about in common. We could talk about a song we liked to whatever was on TV. It was a conversation starter.

    Someone with their nose pressed into their smart phone answer private email isn't going to start a conversation about it, except to perhaps say "sorry, gotta answer this". The technology seems to encourage this sort of withdrawl, and at the same time, our polite society doesn't know how to say "no, not acceptable" - at least not yet.

     

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    Musical Dunce, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 6:35pm

    Re: Re: Uncontrolled Social Experiment

    My point with the leaded gas was that effects can lag causes by a generation or more. Since the start of the industrial revolution, humanity has subjected itself to change at an ever increasing rate. Also, more and more of us are affected by the experiments we're performing on ourselves. Lead in the atmosphere was one of the first which affected nearly all of humanity (and the rest of the ecosphere).

    In the past, memes and technologies were largely contained to specific societies, so it was possible for a bad meme to cause the downfall of a civilization, but not all of humanity. Now, these experiments happen at such a pace and spread over such a large fraction of humanity, that a crash could affect nearly all of us, such that recovery might not be possible. So, even if the risks are low that any particular 'experiment' has bad effects, the possible consequences are huge.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 11th, 2014 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're cherry-picking from all the different possibilities to only point out which ones you think prove your point.

    Answering a private email is being social, just not in your exceedingly limited perspective, so your example is pointless already, but there are plenty of scenarios where people will start conversations in person (i.e. your definition of social) about what they read on the internet or some email they got.

    And more to the point, if people don't want to be social when they're out in public, would you want to still impose on them your perspective of what's normal? Would you even want to have a conversation with people who don't want to have a conversation with you?

    I love how your perception of a "polite" society is one where it would be okay to insist that people talk to you instead of doing whatever they want to do. How is that polite at all? But further, as you said yourself already, technology is neutral. It's the people who encourage themselves to use the technology in lieu of what you perceive is "normal."

     

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    Whatever (profile), Aug 11th, 2014 @ 10:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Answering a private email is being social, just not in your exceedingly limited perspective

    You missed it again. Answering the e-mail is social to the person in the email, but it's incredibly unsocial to do it in front of people at dinner, ignoring them and letting the e-mail be more important. Social goes all directions.

    if people don't want to be social when they're out in public, would you want to still impose on them your perspective of what's normal?

    if you don't want to be social, that's fine - but don't go to dinner with your friends or loved ones and then purposely ignore them, hiding behind your technology. We aren't have a discussion about someone sitting by themselves drinking a latte and checking their email, it's about people sitting down to dinner with friends and then blocking them out with technology.

    I love how your perception of a "polite" society is one where it would be okay to insist that people talk to you instead of doing whatever they want to do.

    if you invite me to go to dinner with you, I take that as an invitation to have dinner, chat, and be social. I didn't take it as an invitation to be ignored and split the check.

    Yes, technology is neutral - but how it is used is important. How some people think that their email, their facebook profile, and their inane tweets are more important than the friends and family sitting with them is the real issue.

    So yeah, thanks for making my points for me :)

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 12th, 2014 @ 1:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Seriously though, you really need to work on your reading skills."

    I can read fine. That's why I call you out on your repeated attempts to lie and distort the truth here. That's also why you disappear every time I present facts and citations - you know I recognise utter bullshit when you present it, and have no qualms in countering it.

    "I don't berate anyone."

    You seem to be engaged in an ongoing conversation here where you're telling an AC what he thinks/should think rather than actually read his words. That's part of your problem - you regularly address what you think a person's opinion is rather than their actual opinion. Maybe "berating" isn't the right word, but I do love the fact that you did it constantly over a weekend, when the subject in question is socialising with other people.

    "Someone else handed you your ass last week about that too."

    Must have missed that. I remember having differing opinions. I certainly do remember calling you out on repeated lies, then you whining and refusing to answer an direct question because I dared call you a liar for openly lying among other observations. I definitely remember you trying to act smug because you spent Friday evening posting here while I was otherwise engaged and you mistakenly announced "victory" like a 5 year old because it took more than 10 minutes to respond to you. But no "getting my ass handed to me", unless you count someone else daring to take part in a debate after you whined like a little girl and refused to answer basic questions.

    But, you have no problem calling me names and similar yourself. Interesting...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2014 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    We aren't have a discussion about someone sitting by themselves drinking a latte and checking their email, it's about people sitting down to dinner with friends and then blocking them out with technology.

    Um, for a while now we have been having a conversation about people in general and not your very limited scenario of people at dinner with close friends. While some device-interaction would be fine in that scenario depending on the types of people involved, I wouldn't argue that it's perfectly okay to do so all the time.

    Have you been thinking this whole time that we were all talking about your little (possibly fictional or embellished) couple at dinner scenario?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2014 @ 5:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "it's about people sitting down to dinner with friends and then blocking them out with technology."

    Sounds like he is a little butt hurt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2014 @ 11:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    yes, because as always you just know the other person has the issues you think they have. You're, like, psychic and shit! OMG! Bow down before the great master! ... Oh, wait, I meant psychotic. I bet you mean you're psychotic.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 16th, 2014 @ 11:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Okay, you've been told, but it bears repeating: Your version of 'normal' is not. There is no 'normal.' Ask a psychiatrist/psychologist/sociologist what is normal, and they will give you a blank stare. There is no such thing as 'normal,' just as 'the best' is an unattainable goal. What you describe is, at best, a 'social trend.' I am sorry you feel that you are correct in everything, but I can pretty well guarantee that there are many others much better versed in the psychology of society.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Hunter Skowron, Feb 19th, 2015 @ 6:38pm

    Greetings fromt he creator of this sign

    HI! I wrote this sign way back when. I just noticed it gained a lot of populariyy. this is pretty funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    youallsuck, Apr 3rd, 2015 @ 1:47pm

    social media is called it for a reason

    I like it, it really helped me but I still like social media and its called social media for a reason. its our choice if we want to be anti-social and its not social medias fault.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Addd, Jun 3rd, 2015 @ 11:48pm

    Smartphones are addicting compared to newspapers. People could live without a newspaper in those days, but could anyone live without a smartphone today? I agree that this technology changes the way we socialize, though. It's more superficial, maybe, but it's "social". The internet has done wonders for the narcissism, too. Businesses have also benefited: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/generation-like/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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