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  4. Sunday, 10 November 2019
I saw this tongue in cheek cartoon floating around and immediately thought of the technology theme of this season.
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I also thought it brought up a point worthy of discussion.

How much of the isolating nature of technology has been overstated in our time and through history?

Is it an issue that will sort itself out with time as people adapt to it?

With many different ages, nationalities, and political viewpoints here, I am interested in the thoughts of the group. :)
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Some context first, I’m of an age where depending on where you look, I’m either a very young member of gen X or the oldest millennial. I didn’t have a computer at home until I was 13 and it had no internet connection. I can remember thinking how cool the first cordless phones were and teaching my parents how to program the VCR. I was a latchkey kid a few days a week and was expected to watch my younger sister. On some summer days my parents had no idea where I was all day, but I was expected to be home by 5.

One thing I’ve observed with the digital age is a shortened attention span and along with that a lack of patience. We have the ability to access information 24/7 so we get frustrated if we have to wait for something. I don’t envy parents who have to teach their kids that sometimes they have to wait for something when instant gratification is the norm. This shortened attention span has changed how we watch TV specifically more serialized shows like this one. If an episode doesn’t “do enough to move the story along” it’s dismissed as filler and not worth watching. If an episode focuses on a new or secondary character, there’s an outcry. To that I say how are we supposed to care about a character if we don’t spend some time getting to know them? There’s also the trend towards shorter seasons and shows designed for binge-watching. My hope is there will be room for every type of show format because each is good in its own way.

I think there’s positive and negative aspects to the digital age. Twenty years ago, a group like we have here with people of different ages from around the world wouldn’t have been possible. Social media allows me to keep in touch with people I otherwise would’ve lost touch with. I was recently on vacation visiting relatives and friends that I hadn’t seen in person for more than four years and decided that during my vacation I was going to put my phone down as much as possible. On our last night we had takeout chinese food at my cousin’s house with a group of people ranging in age from 20s-70s and somewhat surprisingly it was the older group that had the most trouble putting their phones down. At least in our group the 20 somethings made a conscience decision to put their phones down and interact with the people around them and that gives me hope that while the digital age may have changed the way we communicate things aren’t as bad as the doomsayer think.
Hope, Help and Compassion for all
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I have many telephones. Most have pushbuttons. One has a rotary dial as god intended.
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Good topic, thanks for introducing it. Call me (like Kara) a curmudgeon, but I don't really see a benefit to a lot of the tech being offered, and it honestly sometimes drives me crazy. Like going to lunch with a dozen co-workers and, aside from me, exactly one other person in the group did not have his cell phone out during the whole time. So he and I had a nice conversation. It has become an obsession with many people. Witness the laws being passed to control phone use while driving; it was never necessary to regulate reading while driving because no one did that. But cell phones have a hypnotic effect, so it becomes necessary to legislate what should be common sense. Do I have a cell phone? Of course; but most of the time it is turned off. I have never felt the need to be checking my portfolio, following the latest news or sports, or be connected 24/7. So I am glad the show has raised this topic and I am looking forward to how they deal with it for the remainder of the season.
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Technology may be overstated as a distraction throughout time, but not until now has it been as pervasive and all-encompassing as our modern era.

Each generation and time period grappled with the issue, but our current generation is the one who is surrounded by, immersed in, distracted by, and consumed by it. Modern communication is through screens and not face to face. Social ills and a lack of physical interconnectedness are growing at exponential rates.

As we become overly-reliant on technology, we slowly and surely lose our humanity. This is the tipping point as to whether we wish to continue to be human beings or become solely digital creatures.
"One Less Day (Dying Young)" - Rob Thomas, from the CD/LP/Download Chip Tooth Smile. (2019)
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