The Matrix is Real
Social Apathy and its Unseen Growth
By John Bieschke
Staff Reporter/Ad Manager
I will say this: smart technology is getting too smart. The year of our lord is two thousand and fifteen, and nearly everyone has a little box they periodically check every few minutes for various reasons, whether it be looking at poorly edited instagram or the next nonsensical gif. I cannot say I am free from this trend; I have a twitter account but hardly know how to use it and I had a Pinterest for a little while but quickly deleted it because I did not see the point of it. How did it come to this? How did a society of abled body explorers get sucked into a digital world where the adventure bears false fruit?
We are falling into a world we do not actually experience, one that we are only plugged into. Where “lol” really means a partial smirk and hitting a like button is an acceptable replacement for a firm pat on the back or a respectable handshake. At this point it is our duty as human beings to use the electric drug of social media in moderation and step away from the screens.
I do see the necessity of technology, the amount of work that can be done because of things like laptops and mobile email is unbelievable at times. Human inventions have changed the ways we live from the first hammer, to the first computer, to the first smart car. The primal need to go faster has pushed us into the stars and made us gods compared to our ancestors. An unforeseen result of the technology boom is the increase of social connectivity.
Human connectivity has skyrocketed and relationships are being formed all over the world. People who would have lived their whole lives alone and sad are finding Mr. or Mrs. Right because of dating sites and online communities are forming to chat about joint interests. These are the things the internet is meant for, to connect those who would have never met and gain useful knowledge at blazing speeds.
However, like all things, there is the other side of the coin: Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and things like Yik Yak are what I consider to be drains on society. The concept of WorldStar, a site where people submit videos of their friends literally beating the everloving shit other each other and a slue other sites that glorify violence and stupidity disturb me greatly; they make me worry about the world my five year old nephew will have to face. The movie Idiocracy starring Rainn Wilson comes to mind.
In the film Rainn is locked away in a cryogenic sleep for hundred of years to wake up in a world run by idiots who have changed the national past time to watching monster truck rallies, shopping at super stores, and eating fast food for every meal. I know this movie was a farce of society but it was a surprisingly accurate one by the look of things. However I digress.
Before I had a smartphone I would dread that inevitable two to three minutes of silence of a night of fun or general horse play when everyone in almost a synchronized style looked at their phones. I personally feel that memories are made through interacting with one another and not liking some random person’s cat picture. I felt I was losing time when “cell phone break” came around in whatever group I was in at the time. It is also inherently insulting when no one wants to continue a conversation and would rather check if their post got anymore likes. I know these actions are not intentional, they are almost trained at this point.
Those lost moments are where friendships can be established or where you could meet your future significant other. Some of my fondest memories are moments when the phones in our group would collectively die and the night was still young. After that, we would only become closer and further our connections with one another, which is how my friends became family. No one said being human would be easy, but it is definitely an added bonus to have companions along for the ride.
Getting away from the sentiments there are a range of benefits of having actual face-to-face social skills. Jobs are not given based on the ability to use emoticons, real professionals are able to talk to one another. When the day comes and someone puts ‘I can post fifteen tweets a minute’ on their professional resume is when I’ll be rolling over in my grave. If the economy is bad now it will only get worse when the people in charge are too busy taking a damn selfie. To even further my point being social is a perishable skill, it will go bad if not constantly used, which could ultimately lead to being a human cockroach. On that note, I’m going to put my laptop down and go for a bike ride, which I highly recommend.