Once upon a time, people talked to each other. That stopped long ago. Today, is there anyone who bothers with face-to-face communication anymore? No there is not. Everyone just spends hours staring at rectangles in front of them, and talks to things instead of people. Yes, everything was originally created by a person, but there’s still no human contact at all. No mere thing can think or feel. However many minds we can exchange information with, that’s still no substitute for an actual conversation.
People today are more isolated than ever before. If you put a handful of people in a room together, it used to be that they would talk to each other. Now, talking to people is something to be avoided. They just all pull out their gadgets and commence ignoring each other. Those gadgets are sucking all the feeling and meaning out of human existence. If “human” is even the right word any more.
Nowhere in nature is there anything resembling this modern technology. It is used by humans only, and it works against the traits that make us human. These devices have no human feelings, and the more they are used the less contact there is with real people. Less personal means less human, and isolating people from one another is turning them into machines. This is the inevitable result of anything this artificial and unnatural.
Can you communicate a tone of voice or a twinkling eye over a text-only medium? All you can send are words. Words are great, but imagine a conversation where the words are the only information being sent, with the tone of voice or body language left to guesswork. It would be monotonous in every sense. Not to mention ambiguous; you wouldn’t even be able to detect sarcasm! Communication should be face-to-face, and anything else is inferior.
We live in an age of more communication than ever before, and most of it is useless. In the world as it used to be, you would get a piece of information and act on it. Now it’s expected that most of the information you get doesn’t apply to your life at all. We receive record amounts of news from the other side of the world, and then proceed to devour it and ignore it. Of the things you read recently, what percent affect your life at all? How much is going to change your actions? How much is completely frivolous? People put all their effort into collecting information that they know is useless.
Nobody understands anything anymore. They don’t need to, because “I don’t know, but I can find the answer right here” is considered an acceptable answer. So they depend on access to completely useless lists of facts, and let that stand in for actually knowing anything. Instead of being educated, they substitute having information at their fingertips. This is not how knowledge is supposed to work.
People are meant to be people, not some unholy mass of collected information. But everyone supports this new technology, because they’ve always associated information with intelligence. Real knowledge is more natural than that. You either know something or you don’t. This modern use of gadgets is no better than using technology to give people better memories or computing power, and it’s obvious that making people smarter through technology is wrong. “Unnatural” doesn’t begin to cover this; it’s more like “dehumanizing and immoral.”
But if all this technology can make people smarter, it also has the opposite problem. When was the last time you memorized a poem, or had a conversation about philosophy, or did any of the things people used to do all the time? Anything involving thinking is just too hard for all the technology-dependent people, which is everybody, so nobody does it. You can get all your thoughts in pre-arranged packages, so there’s no need to think for yourself.
And everyone consumes all the same content. Whatever’s currently popular, you can count on everyone being intimately familiar with all of that and completely unfamiliar with anything else. Mass distribution of information makes it easier than ever before to just do what everyone else is doing and not bother forming your own opinions.
This is all before even considering the physical effects. People spend hours staring at their rectangles, not moving from one spot. Often, they don’t bother getting out of bed. Inactivity is at an all-time high because anybody can get their favorite entertainment on demand. We’re amusing ourselves to death.
Anyway, this is why I’m opposed to books.