One thing that I have noticed lately is that technology can really isolate you from the world around you…

Now I’m not talking about isolating you from the world, rather I’m talking about it isolating you from the IMMEDIATE world and people around you.

Next time you are waiting in line at the grocery store, doctor’s office or bank have a look at the other people in line with you. Chances are pretty good that you will see them listening to their mp3 player, talking on their phone or texting. They are probably not actually very aware of what’s happening around them with the people only a few metres away.

Not so long ago if you were waiting in line at the bank, grocery store or doctor’s office you might actually strike up a conversation with a person near you. This was a prime opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, find out what’s happening in the community and possibly engage in evangelism.

I know that personally I need to make sure that I don’t burry my head into Facebook, e-mail or Twitter when I am with the family. With many in the corporate world the BlackBerry can be a constant curse (it’s called a “CrackBerry” because it’s addictive nature). My parent’s were just on a holiday and I think that one of the highlights for them was that there was no mobile / cellular service for my Dad’s BlackBerry. He was actually forced to put the thing down and relax, and there was nothing that he could do about it.

Near the end of summer in August I’m thinking about going on a social media fast. I’ll leave the computer off, shut off any e-mail alerts and not check any social media sites(Twitter, Facebook, etc.). To be honest I don’t expect to miss much. I figure that if anything it should help me to connect better with the people and world immediately around me and if there is anything really important, I’m sure I’ll find out about it in other ways …

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8 Responses to Technology Isolates You From The World Around You

  1. Faye Bruce says:

    Hi Bill………interesting article considering I discovered a similar thing last Friday.
    I caught the bust to the city to meen Gran S as she had a dentalappointment.
    On the bus I noticed one young man curled up on a seat with a roll of blankets as a pillow.He was asleep. I wondered if he was a homeless person and was spending some time on the bus to get some warmth.
    Then I looked around me and of the 6 people in my immediate view, 5 of them had some sort of ear plugs / phones in their ears.
    My conclusion was that they were happier blasting their ears with “whatever” rather than having a face to face chat with someone like me. All a bit sad really.

  2. Awesome article!! My pet peeve is when people Facebook you for a coffee date or similar (within 2 hours) and wonder why you haven't replied…all because they assume you sit on FB all day or have it directed to your cell phone or Blackberry, meaning you have access 24 hours a day. What happened to the old fashioned technology called the "telephone"?I understand when people have to be connected because it is their work…..but do they really need to be connected while driving a car? Safety folks!!

  3. That reminded me of the kid in Townsville who was listening over headphones while riding his bike. He had it up so loud that he did not hear the train crossing or whistle and somehow missed the big flashing lights and boom gate. He ran into the train and was badly hurt, and then his parent’s sued Queenland Rail because their kid was stupid!

  4. I miss the interaction in line-ups etc. I feel our culture has lost some of their 'humaness' by this self imposed isolation.

  5. Sue Cole says:

    How about this Bill. It illustrates your point exactly. I was playing pool with Scott and Uncle Brian in one of the few times we are together and I look up and they are BOTH texting. I love technology but even I thought that was outrageous. When I nicely expressed my outrage they both said to me that it was my turn as if there was nothing wrong because it was my turn. A turn takes about 30 seconds for me. Despite that I don't think I could do a social media fast. Good luck with that.

  6. […] Is Facebook an Excuse to Not Make New Friends? 2010 August 15 by Bill Hutchison This is kind of a follow up to one of my previous posts about how technology can isolate us from the world and people around us. […]

  7. Alison says:

    I agree wholeheartedly. Although there were so many reasons why I felt I should stay on Facebook, I took the plunge a few months ago, and deleted my entire social networking world online, other than my website and my email. So, that I could have fewer but deeper relationships, and more relationships that actually exist in the real world, and more time to focus on real conversation that lasts for more than 140 characters. And I agree that our cell phones are lovely when turned off. I have sat through many a special meal with various friends where they befriended their cell phone more than me, across the table, and so I have had to ask numerous times to have them turn their cell phone off.

    I wonder what Jesus would have done if He had been born into the year 2010? Interesting thought!

    Thanks for getting us thinking!

  8. Hey Bill,
    As i told in different article of yours, i have commented here too. “isolating you from the world”… sounds good…. Thanks for all of ur articles 🙂

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