Editorial: Rage over the digital age

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

NOWADAYS, people seem to be more interested in life by reading about it than by living it.

It is commonplace to see our social networks filled with lists. Granted, there are those which are written solely to entertain, and then there are those saying, “x Ways to Live a Happier Life,” “x Habits of Successful People,” or “x Ways to Tell if Your Relationship Isn’t Working.” The lists themselves aren’t alarming, but it’s how people reacting to them are.

It’s disappointing to see that many people feel like their lives can be summed up by these lists found on the internet, even more saddening that some like to think that these lists define people. Most of the time, the posting of these links are accompanied with, “Wow I’m guilty of #3 and 8,” or “I need to do #5 more,” or even subtle jabs at other people who fit descriptions in the lists.


The saddest part about most of these lists is that most of them are filled with sweeping generalizations about certain people, and it’s sad that some people find them to be fact more than opinion.

More to ponder on is that the people who write these lists are from different countries, with different cultures living under different circumstances, yet the people around us gobble them up as if they were in the same exact situation. Whatever happened about seeing friends and talking about your lives and learning things from them? Even that kind of experience has been ruined by technology.

You’d be hard pressed to find a young group of friends today who aren’t huddled around a laptop or burying their faces in their own mobile devices. Not too many of today’s youth engage in meaningful conversations with their friends when they are out, too often breaking conversation by talking to their phone’s to endlessly scrolling and refreshing the feed on Twitter or Facebook. As John Bender in the Breakfast Club put it, “it’s sorta social. Demented and sad, but social.”

Ultimately, we come to a sad realization. Technology, internet and social media were supposed to help bring the people closer to each other, but its effect on people seems to show that it’s doing quite the opposite.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 17, 2014.


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