Thursday, December 24, 2009

Is technology removing our social clues? Yes, and I think it's good

Okay, strange post topic, but something that has been making me over the last few days.

For my birthday, my gorgeous husband, brought me a Kindle. In fact my birthday is in a months time, and he gave me the Kindle on Christmas Eve; it wasn't a Christmas present because we said that we were doing that-so it was a very early birthday present. It's a complicated story.

It's great I can store all of my favourite books on one simple machine. Never need to go to a book store again. I have saved myself a whole mountain of book space.

Anyway, this got me thinking.. I looked around my living room and I saw how technology has crept into my life. I have my iPod and music libraries on the computer automatically linked to the stereo. I have all my favourite movies and TV shows, in their hard drive, linked to my AppleTV. I have the PVR recording my TV shows without the need of blank video cassettes. All my photo's stored on one digital frame; there whenever I decide to switch it on. Everything hidden behind passwords and software.

When I looked at my wirelessly connected home, I also noticed the lack of items that give it personality. Where are the piles of DVD's stacked in the corner? What about the CD's lined on the shelves? There isn't even any reading material in the bathroom! And soon, there will be no books on the bookcases. When someone comes into my home what will they see?

We pick up many social clues about someone when we walk into their home for the first time. Who doesn't make a beeline to the bookcases and see what books they like to read? Don't we itch to view their music collection to see what sort of person they are? Don't we all try to sneek a peek at their DVD collection to see if they are a romantic or a horror fan? How do we figure out about someones past life if there aren't any photo's hanging around?

If someone I didn't know walked into my home, how will they get to know about me? How will they know my passions? My likes? My pastimes?

By bringing digital organisation into our home, are we taking the personality out?

Is this a good thing? I think it is. I am actually quite a private person. [Yes, I know there is irony there-considering I am blogging. It's not as if anyone is reading this, so I am perfectly safe]. I don't want my life on the shelf waiting for whoever to come in and see it. I like the idea of my free-time being that-MINE and no-one else's.

I suppose I am as closed off to society as my password protected hard drives. I know there are a lot of psychologists out there that say this is a bad thing. It's eroding my Emotional Intelligence; making me a loner and an introvert. But in a world where our lives are already out there for everyone, whenever they want to see it, via Facebook, twitter, email, blogs, on-line chats and webcams, I am glad that the core of myself; my music, my books and my movies are all locked away safely.




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