Episode 8: Is Technology Isolating Us?

Does technology connect us or isolate us? Stan’s friend Adam Dingle shares about how a recent train trip across the country differed from some of his previous trips – because of technology. During this trip, Adam noticed he was doing a lot less connecting with other people on his trip and spending a lot more time on his smart phone, laptop, and the internet. Stan and Jason discuss a bit about this ever popular topic – is technology connecting us or making us more isolated?

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  • Steve Dundorf

    Excellent discussion on the topic. As a bus traveler for 15 years, I’ve definitely seen a difference in the amount of interaction / ability for people to talk. As you point out, score for the introverts. Few thoughts: 1) apple in-ear headphones have been a game changer in creating a barrier for communication. It’s amazing how fast these come out when someone gets on the bus, then discussion over. 2) Younger people and middle-age converts seem to be losing both the will and ability to communicate verbally. Even when I do get into a conversation, it’s usually short, like a text message 3) I think it’s fair to say we know much more about other cultures, races, social groups, econcomic groups, groups with internet access, etc., but current methods of communication, are we isolating ourselves from communicating with them? Do we now know less about more or more about more? Are we able to now just turn off all of those that don’t think like we do and communicate only with those that do? 4) Now we can just say what we want on a forum and walk away, send a text and not respond. We now have the ability to piss off others and further isolate us without recourse. When we do communicate from the safety of our computer screen with people about subjects where we have different opinions, has the need to understand each other, compromise, and come to at least an amiable conclusion disapperared? Or, are we now having non-verbal conversations with people we would never talk to and really learning and coming to understanding and consensus? I would say human nature mixed with current technlogy would move us in one direction than the other. 5) As more people move to online learining vs. classes that involve in person discussion, how is this going to change things?

  • karyn

    What I find very interesting is that in Steve’s comment he seemed to think that the overuse of technology can be a negative as it pertains to interpersonal relations BUT at the same time he took approximately 15 minutes to make said comment as two of his adorable children played with playdoh at his feet and unsuccessfully tried to get his attention.

  • Steve Dundorf

    Point taken, but right inline with my comments (or maybe worse than I event thought), my wife decided to comment without even reading my comments. Maybe it wasn’t even a conscious decision….

  • karyn

    I skimmed, but did not read in depth because I need to engage/interact with the children (and attempt to interact face-to-face with Steve)

  • Jason Lange

    Ha! Thanks for sharing Steve & Karen. One thing I definitely feel myself is that with all the tech and the limitless possibilities they bring, even in terms of social connections, it’s becoming more and more important for me to cultivate my ability to stay focus and intentionally give people and subjects my full attention. Personally I think overall it’s a net good becomes of all the possibilities we’re seeing emerging, you can literally build a relationship with anyone anywhere, but it takes more work to cultivate the depth of those connections that naturally arise when you’re in “meatspace” with someone and just spending time with them!

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