Technocide: The Killing Of The Real By The Virtual

The convergence of many things this weekend have me thinking about what we lose, not just what we gain by going virtual. (Yes I see the irony of this being written by a blogger but really, blogging is already old technology.)

I tend to spend far more time in front of a computer than I used to in part due to work but even in my “free” time.  I check email, I blog, I read blogs and I check websites for news and information. Even occasionally I shop. But I am mostly old school. I call rather than text. I read print media, newspapers and magazines in part because there is a tactile experience. I ride actually rather than virtually. I talk to people face to face.

This latter activity, assuming that it is the right person(s) is one of my favorite things to do. Communicating through blogs or email is efficient and does not require two people to be available at the same time so it is useful. Just not as satisfying for me. I recognize the benefits of technology and social networking in particular. I am just worried.

So what got me thinking about this now.

First this article in the Chicago Tribune titled, “Social Media Ties, Technology Addiction Can Strain Interpersonal Relationships“. (BTW, this title had to be written by a techie editor with no social skills.) The article described how time on Facebook, email, games, etc. can keep people from forming relationships in the real world. Do we really need to check email, launch a Tweet and attach something to a friend’s Facebook wall the moment we awake?

This was also the weekend that the newest of the Terminator movies opened. This is the ultimate man vs. machine story.

There was also Tech company news. A story about Facebook recounted how a purchase of 2% of the company for $200 million values the company (with no profits) at $10 billion. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this valuation is down from the $15 billion valuation when Microsoft bought a piece of the company a couple of years ago. DAMN THIS ECONOMY.

Also in today’s Wall Street Journal was a story about Twitter. They are up to 32 million users form 1.6 just a year ago. The stuggle of the founders is to hire people fast enough to keep the twits going while trying to figure out how to make money on this. Fortunately they have raised $55 million to get this right.

Then there is one of my favorite bloggers, Pax Romano. Ok, blogging is technology and virtual–except in the deft hands of skilled bloggers like Pax. He makes the interactions personal if not in-person. His blogging has slowed as he discovered Facebook. Even Pax considers Facebook as addictive as crack. Luckily the first step to a cure is knowing you have a problem. We want more blog entries Pax.

I am thankful for sports, debate club and chess tournaments (real, not virtual ones). These are places where our kids still need to interact with people…for now. I have no doubt that soccer tournaments or triathlons done on Wii networks will one day be the rage.

Then I will know the machines have won.

About 48facets
What you read is what you get.

One Response to Technocide: The Killing Of The Real By The Virtual

  1. autisticaplanet says:

    I have a PC and an iPod, they don’t have me. I’ve been upset over what the media is starting to notice has happened over the past decade-the apathy we’ve developed. Ironically, I have Asperger’s Syndrome. Those who know about ASD’s know that people like me need integration. In a way, tech-crackheads are becoming autistic. Technology is a part of my life. It is not nor ever has been (there actually was technology before 1990) my whole life. Pray for the return of common sense and never be a sheep. Good blog.

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