Guest Contributor Post
I’ve stumbled on a couple of articles recently that struck a chord with some sort of half thoughts I’d been having earlier in the week. When you’re as busy as I am half thoughts are all you have time for. So I had been thinking about this prevailing sense of non-specific isolation that a few people have mentioned to me, the feeling that you’re not quite connecting as organically as you used to. I realise how much cod-psychology I threw into that last sentence but I figure if Steve is going to let me post here he’s probably factored in the amount of shite he knew I’d write.
So, this isolation. Where does it come from? Are we so de-sensitised that we can’t even empathise with our peers anymore? Now, before you start thinking that I am some sort of dreadlocked Luddite who lives in a log cabin eschewing modernity but begrudgingly using an old Windows 95 PC to contribute to a blog, I’m not. I love technology. Actually, that’s wrong, I love advances in technology, where it can go, what it can do, all this is bread and butter to me. I have a computer that is far too powerful for anything I need to use it for, I upgrade my mobile phone roughly every three months and I have a ridiculous amount of email addresses, IM names, etc etc etc. I’m like one of those annoying “You know you’re living in 2007 when…” email forwards that I seem to get ALL OF THE TIME.
So, what is all this, I hear you ask. Rants about forwards? What is this, a transcript of a 1994 Janeane Garofalo stand up routine? If it is, I reckon it would have been one of the most forward thinking of all her “pieces”, but let me get back to the this. I love technology, and I’ve just realised I’ve started two consecutive paragraphs with the word ‘So’ which is bugging me but we’ll soldier on. Anyway, there were these two articles I had read which I may have mentioned earlier. I’d rather type this explanation then scroll back up to check. But the articles, one is called 7 Reasons the 21st Century is Making You Miserable and yes I know it’s from Cracked.com which is a comedy website but sometimes, even cynical, pale, blotchy internet nerds have to take a moment to pause, to take stock. This one really had me scratching my chin and it got me mainly thinking about these issues of control I had been thinking about the week before. I mean control in the sense of, in a text message/email/IM “conversation” all of the control is in the respondent’s hands. They control the very warp and weft of the conversation. The second article I found, entitled Study: Number of close friends dropping in U.S., made me sad for two reasons. Firstly, well it’s about people having less confidantes, which is sad dudes. Secondly, I never even noticed that my subscription to the Daily Iowan had run out. It really is the only paper you need. It lets you know exactly what is going on all over Iowa every day, imagine that! That’s all you want right there.
Reading back on this, I realise it’s terrible and altogether sub par but damn it all it’s content!
Also, re: the non-specific isolation, I think it’s down to two main reasons
1) technology, too much of
2) exposure to humans, not enough of
And yes, I do realise the title doesn’t work at all either.