I wonder, with the advent of the internet and everything being ‘virtualized’, are we ourselves becoming more attached to the virtual world?
I have this very close friend with whom I have shared all my stories – joys and sadnesses – for the past many years. Now we are both busy with our lives, we don’t get to meet as often as we used to, and of course the easy solution has been to keep in touch through emails and instant messaging. I’ve noticed very recently that of late we’ve become more comfortable having written conversations, than actual voice communication. When we talk over the phone, we are a little more laboured, thinking about exactly what we should be saying… whereas over the internet, with the written medium, we are much more free flowing with our thoughts… I wonder if that’s just because we’ve changed as people as times have changed, or is it really because of the radical change in the medium? It’s not really a question of the relationship having changed – we’re as good friends today as we used to be… if not better today than before – it’s just that the communication medium has changed drastically!
Are we becoming more comfortable not seeing someone’s face, not hearing someone talk, as we have a ‘conversation’? Are we, as a civilization, getting stuck to the monitor and the keyboard, using smileys to convey the emotions that once our facial muscles expressed, and gradually becoming more comfortable with the smiling yellow cartoon than with the human face that it has replaced?
It’s personally a big relief that I still miss seeing the smile on my friend’s face as we share an old joke… thankfully, I have yet not fallen, at least entirely, for the yellow thing with the big smile…