Hmm... I could write papers about this subject but let's just focus on what the video claims.
First of all, while I agree about the whole monkey experiments and stuff in the beginning, I think the video suffers from the 'Kony video' problem in which you identify a problem, and then proceeds to go "HERE'S WHY AND EVERYONE ELSE IS WRONG" assumptions on why loneliness is happening. In this case, the video creator didn't identify giving arms to the Ugandan government as the solution, but rather "HURR DURR, IT'S TECHNOLOGY! GET RID OF IT!"
However, that doesn't mean his arguments are invalid...
But how about this then, do you think people from before the Internet isn't as lonely as you are now?
HAHAHA OF COURSE NOT!
You see, while it's easy to think that "If we just put our computer, facebook, cellphones down and go outside, everything will be SOOO MUCH BETTER!", this is not true.
CASE 1:This thread
Experiment: Tech Writer, Paul Miller abstained from Internet for a year
Honestly, most of the things I'd want to say here, I've already said in that thread. The conclusion is simple: The real problem is that we tend to think too highly of ourselves, technology or no technology. We think that we are the center of the universe and people exist only for us.
The Internet however, only emphasizes this problem because then you know that people just won't take shit from anybody and even more so with anonymity. Because of this, we feel lonely, not because we don't have friends, not because it's all fake, but because people don't do what you say! Hell, even Kim Jong-Il sings a song about this in Team America: World Police
And Kim Jong-Il probably didn't even have online friends. Instead he had fake friends in his underlings and yes men he surrounded himself with. He was surrounded by many IRL people, yet he was lonely!
(I'm talking about Kim Jong-Il in the movie btw, Idk about IRL)
And that's CASE 2!
CASE 2: Hey, how about them IRL people in your life?
Do you have IRL friends? Course you do, right? No? Well, chances are, you do have IRL friends. If not, then at least you have somebody you like, right? No? How about people you tolerate? People you admire? OK, how about people you hate?
The point I'm trying to make here is that guy's point about conversation and connection is not exactly as clear cut. Here's the thing: intimacy IRL is actually not as simple as it sounds. You do get to edit, and delete in a real conversation and we certainly can control what we're gonna say, just like online. However, like online, you can't control people's responses!
I mean, sure it's easy to forget that people online are real people... like e.g. sometimes I think I don't treat everybody here as real people... but at the same time, do you think the people IRL is as much a person as you do? Try the homeless on the street for example; or maybe the cashier in . Do you, ever think of them as equal?
Heck, even in conversations, this still plays a part. If you're an actor, or a director, you know that words that you say, doesn't mean as much as the intention behind it. This is called 'the subtext' and yes, it is what is lost online.
So, there are three purposes for the subtext: 'Vying for a higher status', 'Vying for a lower status', or 'Asking for more information'. They all however, only have one goal behind them: 'Trying to get the other person to do something for you'. Now then, I can't really explain why this is why it is because there's really no science behind this except that it's been used in acting for almost 100 years and it's called 'Stanislavsky method'.
And it works! And almost every single actors and directors would love to hate this method! Ever heard of 'method acting'? This is what it is!
Anyway, what I'm trying to say is, you DO get to edit, delete, and control what you're gonna say, or what you want to be. It's just that we do it all the time, we never realize this unless you are being put in a 'fake' situation like acting for example. And, if you happen to commit wrong in this whole process, you are committing a social faux pas aka, "Dude, did you really just say that?".
Now, let's get into CASE 3!
CASE 3: The World Before The Internet (Might Not Be As Wonderful As You Think)
Let's go back to the video about the three gratifications the Internet has given us:
- We can put our attention whenever we wanted it to be
- That we will always be heard
- That we will never have to be alone
I SHARE THEREFORE I AM 0_0
Cool catchphrase but do you know why we even had the original quote of "I think, therefore I am"?
It was invented back in the 17th century and it basically tried to philosophically answer the simple question, "Who am I?"
Now, drawing back from the three gratifications the video laid out, they do have one thing in common: 'we', or in a more individual case, 'I'.
- I want to put my attention where I want them
- I want to be heard
- I don't want to be alone
And all of these, again, enforces the point that we just want things to go our way. Technology, as he claimed, gives us these gratifications. However by doing so, we can't escape from being alone and because of this, we can only be lonely...
Now, while I agree that this might be the case, I think it's rather unjustified to think that this is Technology's problem and not ours.
And that's why we need to go back in time to when the Internet didn't exist, or when it wasn't as widespread as it is now.
Do you remember your childhood?
Alright, to be fair, the minimum age for this forum is 13 years old so maybe this discounts some people here. But if you happened to be alive in the 1990's, did you feel less alone back then?
Try to think of the situations when you were actually with people; with your families, your friends, et al. as well as without them. Did you feel less alone in those situations?
No, those weren't really rhetorical questions. I really want to know how alone you felt back before the Internet days. To be honest, I myself believe that although I did have real conversations and intimacy with people back then, I felt almost as lonely as I am now.
But I ask myself, "How could this be?". Seriously though, I didn't just 'have friends' back then, I was not only making them, they actually made me their friends as well; something that is rather unthinkable today. In fact, they all insisted we be friends and nobody else to be left out, even the creepiest kid.
Obviously, there is a bit of a cultural differences in play here when it comes to friend-making and so on. But the thing is, even as I literally had millions of conversations and like, tons of friends, whom I can still call and meet anytime I wanted to, I still felt as lonely back then as I am now. Back then, even as I was having fun with friends, going to theme parks and stuff, chatting, having fun, I never really felt less lonely than I am now.
The thing is, I never really felt CONNECTIONS to any of them
I mean, sure, we had fun, we conversed, we even shared photos and stuff by showing folks photos from the Internet that we downloaded from home because lolno3G and texting was $$$ expensive. Yet, I never felt that any of them meant anything, even when I was included, even when people cared, even when people did what I wanted them to do.
And... sigh... again... I think I still draw the same conclusion from the very first case, from 6 months ago...
But sometimes, we tend to forget. We tend to forget that the other people on the Internet are also real people. We then start to think we're "antisocial" and "lonely" even when we spend many of our time interacting with people online.
This notion deludes us from our real problem: that we think too highly of ourselves. We think that we are the center of the universe and other people only exist for us. While we might think this might make you stronger like in the movies; life really isn't the movies; and this only brings us down and down into the dumps.
Also, we tend to think to much about our future and planning of our lives. Many of us think about "the arc" of our lives which doesn't make any sense! Life keeps going, there's no climax nor anticlimax; just us, keep on living.
So, instead of worrying to "go out more", we should really think about what we really really want to do! We are young here! You're not old unless you're 50+ and hell, even Colonel Sanders started the whole KFC thing when he was 60! To put it simply, it's never too early nor too late to start doing what you want!
Now excuse me while I go out and jump out of this airplane!
Really, the problem is plain and simple individualism... I am (We are?) so delusional of my(our?)selves that when I (We?) talk to people, I feel that I (We?) can control how they'd act or react. Alright, now that I look at that sentence again, I think it's dumb and I think I should just talk to my therapist about how this all works... And that is my advice to all y'all #foreveralone people:
GO SEE A THERAPIST!
That is all...