The scene was cliche. It was a sunny fall afternoon in New York City and the construction workers were taking their break. Then a stunning woman came down the street…. Not just pretty, but Big Apple gorgeous and dressed… flatteringly.
As she passed the construction workers, I waited for what I thought was the inevitable. But to my surprise there were no catcalls, no whistles or provocative comments. Wow, I remember thinking, perhaps the whole #metoo thing really affected things… maybe this younger generation is much more respectful… maybe culture has changed!
And then I realised it was because the entire row of workers were glued to their phones. They didn’t even notice the beautiful woman.
She also did not notice not being noticed… because she too was staring at her phone. So perhaps culture has changed… just not in the way I had originally thought.
As this dystopian future dawned on me, I became cognizant of the fact that EVERYONE was looking at their phones. I was shocked, honestly, that more people weren’t crashing into each other.
But the downsides to being glued to this technology (or others) are much more than an accidental bump in the street. It’s affecting attention spans, literacy abilities, family relationships, even courtship… Millennia of essential societal bonding thrown out in a generation…
It’s time to question whether it has altered us as a people… as a species?
I have to ask: Has technology changed us? Are we the same as people of the Classical Era, thousands of years ago?
Now, to get to the heart of this question, I propose a little experiment. I’ve set up a fresh account for the purpose – I’m curious as to how the conversation would take shape on a different platform, if it is possible to use the technology to our advantage?
If you would like to take part in this philosophical exercise, comment here.