Friday, March 9, 2012

Is technology destroying our sense of community?

I read and interesting article today. It talked about how the internet and cell phones have given us more opportunities to communicate then ever before. Yet we are more isolated than any other time in history.
Remember when if you wanted to talk to someone you called them? Maybe you can remember when a friend might even just (gasp) stop by to talk. How about when you wanted to tell someone you were thinking of them and sent a card. Remember getting a card in the mail, opening it and smiling over it, then sitting on your counter so you could see it when you walked by.
Here is a freaky thing... remember when you talked to people in line at the grocery store? No, you weren't texting or emailing or chatting on your phone you were actually acknowledging another persons existence.
Now don't get me wrong I am guilty too. I am just wondering what technologies we actually benefit from.
I read a lot of blogs and gain a ton of information from the internet. I have earned money buying and selling online. This money has been a great help on our path to being debt free.
I've been thinking about this and I have decided what I find beneficial and what I find detrimental. The last week or so I have spent hours on the computer. The dark dreary weather of the Pacific Northwest has managed to keep me glued to my recliner after work for hours.
 I am going to cut back on my computer time starting today! Now I needed to decide what is good and what is bad about my time on the computer. The last week or so I have been searching craigslist excessively and watching tv episodes on my computer, at the same time I have been neglecting my blog and my blog reading. Basically the opposite of what I want to do.
I also have mixed feelings about Facebook.  I am having a hard time finding any value in it. I guess I see posting from my favorite blogs but I usually read their blogs anyway. There are definitely privacy issues with Facebook as well.
Some of you are probably saying that the internet is a source of relaxing or entertainment. I am going to seek my entertainment elsewhere. Maybe I will watch a movie with other Homo Sapiens, maybe I will seek out other humanoids and play a board game where you interact with people.Maybe I'll talk to my neighbor next time I see them outside.
I know it sounds crazy but I'm going for it.
Can one person change a city, or even a city block into a community? No but we are not alone there are many others who. whether they know it or not, are craving human interaction.
I think sustainability can be very consistent with nurturing a community. Focus on your little piece of the world! Grow your own and share, share tools,share knowledge and most importantly share compassion. There is nothing more powerful then truly listening to a person and showing you care.
I realize this post is rambling but I have a lot of thoughts rattling around in my head. Look for more posts coming up and please share your thoughts on these matters.

So here is my little experiment.......for the next two weeks I will be limiting my internet use both in time and in content. I will actually have more blog time but no TV shows or excessive Craigslist. I am also going to take a break from Facebook and re access it's value.
I am also going to make a concerted effort to interact with actual people more........ I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. Very thoughtful post. Definitely hear you. I do like and use echnology, but recognize the way it can isolate us when we are believing it to be making us more connected. Life is just so much more interesting when you are actually doing things instead of just talking about it.

    Last year I got involved in a big way with a group of people that grow food together for the benefit of our local food bank. We spend most Saturday mornings together, working, laughing and talking, and at the end of the work we share some fruit, cheese, and crackers, and cold water and talk and laugh some more! I started participating because I wanted to give something to others, but honestly I am the one on the receiving end.

    1. Your comment brought up another thought. No matter how much I read and study and comment on blogs my seeds don't get planted! I guess we can't plant seeds and turn compost with the internet!