Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Enhancing Personal Relationships = Enhancing Society

Digital media is getting in the way of personal relationships. Pictured here is my boyfriend AJ and I "segregated" by all this technology that has come out, and me being distracted by it. Do your digital devices do this to a loved one like a family member, spouse, boy/girlfriend, or a friend? If so, change it! (click on the picture to read)

Digital media is hurting civilization, the world me and you live in. Our world is so absorbed in the media and technology that it is almost impossible to find a place on earth that has not been impacted by media. I think it is a good idea to not put put away technology completely, but put aside this digital media because it is hurting social relationships. Social relationships are the foundation of what makes a civilization. Karl Marx said that society is basically a sum of interpersonal relationships, so we need to enhance our personal relationships to enhance society.

The start of digital media started with the following events:

  • In the early centuries, church leaders started hand-writing books to preach from. Missionaries needed these books to teach as well, and to give to the people.
  •  The printing press came out, which helped distribute all these books to people.
  • In the twentieth century, different forms of book culture started to come out, using the latest technology. These evolved to the media we have today.
Civilization became so reliant new technologies, like the ones listed above, that it shaped society. In my opinion, this all started with the invention of the book. And that new technology allowed people to read from devices, and that started this huge influx of mass media that we have today, and how said mass media is hurting personal relationships. While talking with my boyfriend about this, he said that this book evolution was the start of all this digital media since books were the original form or writing, and books were the precursor to other portable forms of escapism like cell phones, video games, etc.

Communication now is largely given by means of mass media, be it Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, text message, phones, etc., and that is pretty much how our culture works and communicates now. Civilization has changed in that we now communicate with all this mass media mostly, and face-to-face communication has dwindled. This very compelling video very much highlights my point on how we need to put down our phones and devices so we can focus on those around us. I also found a TED talk by Sherry Turkle, who talks about how media is taking us places that we do not want to go, and how we're creating trouble because we do not know how to relate to each other. She said that she talked to people and said that they need to keep eye contact while texting, and her daughter and her friends "being together without being together" because they are on their phones. She even quoted a young man who said, "Someday, someday, but certainly not now, I would like to learn how to have a conversation."

Here is a video that I made that illustrates my argument.

Interpersonal relationships and relations with people is what makes up a society, community, and civilization. When this mass digital culture came in, these relationships were hindered because it is on the personal level that a civilization starts, and with that foundation being hurt, civilization is hurt. I think digital media is a great thing, and you may as well, but it should not get in the way of these face-to-face personal relationships that make that solid foundation for a great community and civilization.

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