A few minutes ago, a fellow writing tutor and I were discussing the recent phenomenon of Google Glass. For anyone who may not be familiar with this new media device, Google Glass is listed as an “augmented reality wearable computer”, which will basically allow for computer and internet access at any time, without even needing to use your hands; it will essentially act as a hands-free smart phone.
Now I am not usually one to shy away from new innovations, but in this case, I believe things may have been taken a step too far. Are we really becoming so dependent on media devices that we cannot even bother to put in a little work for the information we seek? As in, use our hands to conduct a search? And what about the basics of communication? Instead of asking a pair of eyewear how far away from us our friends are, could we not simply call or text them?
While this conversation was centered on a specific technology, it opened my mind to the larger matter of human interaction.
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr…we all have our favorite social media site. Personally I am drawn to Twitter, as it makes keeping up with my favorite celebrities, athletes and companies oh so easy. But among the posts of Lebron James, Sephora and Ashley Benson, I also see what my friends are up to.; I read about where they are, who they are with, and what they are doing. And while on the one hand it is nice to be clued in, I often wonder if such behavior is stifling my real life friendships.
Since I already know the happenings of my clique, and of course vice versa, sometimes my motivation to get in touch with them is slim to none. Of course there are many things, usually of the personal variety, that people keep off of social media, but after a long day of work and school, this escapes my mind. In fact, the only two people I make a habit of talking to every day is a best friend who is neither on Twitter nor Facebook, and a girl I consider my cousin, who lives across the country in Los Angeles.
Being able to “stay in touch” with my friends via the internet does not replace or reduce the number of face-to-face interactions. I value the time I spend with each and every one of them. However it certainly affects the way we keep in touch between hangouts. deducing us to mere acquaintances, if not less. So, with this said, do we really need to introduce yet another piece of new media to further our growing social awkwardness? I think not.