The Devoicing of Society
a book by John Locke
(our site's book review)
Locke aptly makes the point that our self-expression, intimate talking, close-knit community and neighborhood relationships, and relationship with others of our species in general have suffered greatly in our modern world, due to technology, computers, email, virtual community, urbanization, printing, hyper-individualism, media, TV, etc. We are becoming technological geniuses but social idiots. Technology has helped increase the cultural lag at a time when a century (the 20th) of bloody warfare says we desperately need to decrease this lag. Culture and social reality degenerating at the same speed that technology and media evolve is a certain recipe for disaster.
Culture and social reality degenerating at the same speed that technology and media evolve is a certain recipe for disaster
He makes a good point. So few of our technological innovations bring us closer together and help us communicate more sensitively and insightfully, more thoughtfully and with more feeling. (The PSB is about the only exception we can think of. See PSB.) Most do the opposite, although some people seem to be able to use cell phones, IMing, and social networking to enhance relationships. Or do they merely enhance loneliness? See Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? and Social Networking and PSBs in MCs.
As Philip Slater and Richard Louv (et al.) call for re-socialization, reconnection, and reweaving the vital social web, and Don E. Eberly and Robert Bellah (et al.) warn that healthy community is the prerequisite for the preservation of democracy and freedom, it becomes more and more blatantly obvious that many people in advanced societies have made the mistake of confusing freedom from needing others in the area of physical needs with freedom from needing others in the area of social needs.
Diversity doesn’t mean that we’re all so different that we may as well atomize into a society of super-individualists because it doesn’t matter anyway, since technology has freed us from our interdependencies. It means that it may well take computer matching technology for compatible people to locate one another (which works so well on Match.com), but once they do, we must rely on the tried and true idea of real community and real neighborhoods and authentic human connectedness to continue to preserve democracy in the future as it has in the past. Even if virtual community supplements this, it can never replace it, since real human connectedness is much more than mere words on a screen or even sounds on a telephone.
Counterfeit nurturing, like counterfeit community and counterfeit neighborhoods, ultimately has the same value as counterfeit money: none
All children know that no matter how many monitors watch them, phones talk to them, and email screens write to them, it is the direct physical presence of real, alive, and warm human mothers and fathers (and ideally others as well) that fills their needs, comforts them, provides for their genuine security, and nurtures them. Counterfeit nurturing, like counterfeit community and counterfeit neighborhoods, ultimately has the same value as counterfeit money: none. MCs have no such problems. See Why Register for an MC?.
Registering for MC search and match
Cyber-relationships will never replace real, alive, warm human mothers, fathers and others