We Have Lost It

  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    Oct 21, 2009 5:50 AM GMT
    So there has probably been a topic on this already but who cares? icon_razz.gif It is important and should be brought up again.

    I grew up with computers and eventually the cell phones we have now, so I don't know what it was really like without all this but I can tell you that it must have been much better. With email, these sites, all the IMs it seems like people don't seem to care as much. Yah there are more ways to talk and keep in touch with someone, but at the same time it's harder to keep in contact because someone may be really busy on their phone or computer. It's like you have to compete for attention more than ever. Everyone just checks their emails and moves on or writes something in the 5 minutes they have. It must have been nice to sit down one night and write a heart felt letter to someone and then for them to receive it and write back to you. Yah it took a while but the thought is what counted. It's all about now now now and more more more. Everyone seems to just add people and so the one on one attentions dies
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    Oct 21, 2009 6:01 AM GMT
    There were fewer options, so maybe we stayed "in the moment" more of the time.
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    Oct 21, 2009 6:21 AM GMT

    Before, we paid attention to "people", talked to them for work and conversation like now, except they were in the flesh and not "encased" inside of a device. Whether it be a phone, a monitor, a machine, a camera, a t.v. screen, etc, they are all trapped inside. We live our daily life talking to replications and fabrications of people, not actual people. We all are really quite poorer for that. If they made a movie about something like that involving ghost or imposter humans we'd all cringe. In essence we all are ghostly imitations in our own way because we haunt cables and wires; we don't exist in the flesh anymore. Uuuuugh, color me depressed.

  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Oct 21, 2009 6:33 AM GMT
    JMuscle33,

    You are so right. So many guys on all the web sites, complain that it's impossible to find love. Well, when we're all snuggling up to our computers, cell phones, ipods, etc., 24/7, no wonder.
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    Oct 21, 2009 6:45 AM GMT
    I remember the days without mobiles and email...

    You would arrange to meet friends at a certain time at a certain place and you'd wait til they turned up. If they didn't (which only happened to me once) you'd just go home.

    And we had gay groups. None of this online networking. I used to go to gay group called Gay Young London. About 40 or 50 of us used to meet every Monday evening and after our meeting we'd go to the pub. We also used to go clubbing and organise expeditions around England. One time we hired a couple of mini vans and drove up to Manchester and had a gay old time in the bars and clubs.

    I still have friends from that group from 20 years ago.

    Nowadays, I can't imagine any young gay men organising anything like that. They're all too busy emailing and texting and seem too shy and withdrawn to create their own real-life groups.
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    Oct 21, 2009 8:12 AM GMT
    I remember the old days when you could arrange to meet someone at 8 and they were there. And these younguns don´t understand how that´s possible now.

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    Oct 21, 2009 4:25 PM GMT
    In my great-grandmother's old steamer trunk, there are some bundles of letters from her children. They're just about daily life over the preceding few weeks and a few things that they've been thinking about. The thing that I find remarkable about them is that they are all very well-written and use complete, grammatically-correct sentences. The paragraphs have logical structure. Yet none of these people had more than a high-school education, and often less than that. Today's college graduates can't write that well. I suppose that attention spans were longer in those days.
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    Oct 21, 2009 4:30 PM GMT
    Eh. Times change. You either change with it or are left behind. I choose to embrace technology and the advances it provides. Doesn't mean that if I make plans with someone at 8 that I won't show up and if they flake...now I have 20 new ways to berate them for their apparently tardiness.
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    Oct 21, 2009 4:32 PM GMT
    The running joke we had during a long and recent sailing trip was how our skills in living sustainably and resourcefully would help us survive what our captain called "The Zombie Apocalypse". Thoreau, anyone?

    You might have seen a few fledgeling zombies already, walking down the street, making screen contact with their iPhones and only hearing their bluetooth headsets instead of engaging in eye contact and listening with their fellow man. Sure, their motor skills are still working, but they're otherwise completely oblivious to their surroundings.

    Eventually, the zombies *will* crave brains...but in a deprived, hungry, carnal kind of way. ;-)

    Anyway, it was an interesting metaphor to ponder and discuss during endless hours on a 35' boat.

    On the other hand, now I can go downtown with no plans to meet up with anyone, and thanks to my iPhone, end up seeing friends and making impromptu plans for the rest of the night, as it progresses. Interaction on demand.

    I think there's a fine line between being an antisocial tech addict, and leveraging technology towards increased meaningful human interaction. We should always be asking ourselves where we are in that realm as new technology comes before us.

    And Grindr...it's not just for sluts anymore. :-)
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    Oct 21, 2009 4:37 PM GMT
    I don't have an iPod. When I got for a run I hear what's going on around me and pay attention to how I feel.

    I have a cell phone, but it lives in my car and I only use it on trips or for emergencies.

    I don't text.

    Hell, I don't even have TV.

    But I've got some great friends, hobbies and a sport I'm passionate about, and time to just sit there and think.

    who really needs all that stuff? And why?
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    Oct 21, 2009 4:44 PM GMT
    A friend and I were talking (at dinner, in person, wow!) the other night about this very topic. She brought up how these days young kids are texting each other like crazy and that there's no longer the anticipation of waiting for the boy to call, wondering if he has a crush, etc. Everything is on the surface now, broadcast in seconds around the world for all to see. Nothing is special. Nothing is sacred.

    I refuse to switch to digital cameras for this reason. They're too easy, too convenient, and have ripped the soul right out of photography. Any monkey can press the button 1,000 times and get 1 good picture. But, worse, there's nothing to look forward to. You immediately see your picture on the screen. Instant gratification = boring. One of the things I love about my backpacking trips is coming home with a bunch of film, sending it off to the lab, and then waiting like a kid on Christmas morning for the transparencies to come back. I get *so* excited when I rip open that package and hold the first roll up to the light and see a great shot! Digital robs us of this very enjoyable experience, replacing it instead with mundane, soulless convenience.

    Make no mistake. All of this technology is preparing us for eventual integration with machines. We've become used to checking our email every few minutes, sending constant little bursts of information via Twitter, etc. This is what machines on the Internet do. They sit there in constant contact with each other. And now we're slowly plugging ourselves into this 24/7 network. The first neural implants can't be *too* far away.

    Another friend (who would know) told me some very scary stats. Facebook signs up over 600,000 users per day now. Every minute of the day over 2,000 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. And no one thinks about the environmental costs of all this technology, all this unnecessary convenience that is stripping us of our humanity in many respects. How many mountains are strip-mined to make energy to run all of these servers? I read a stat a few years ago that Google's main data center uses 2/3 of the energy of the entire city of San Francisco (someone correct me if I'm wrong) every year. That's INSANE. A recent study showed that 2 Google searches is equivalent to boiling a kettle of water in terms of energy usage.

    I will always love technology, but I'm growing increasingly concerned about the direction we've taken, the loss the privacy, and really the loss of our humanity. We don't sit around looking at photo albums together anymore. Now we flip through images on the screen in seconds while checking our email and answering an IM, etc. And this trend will only continue, especially as the younger generation, those who didn't know life before the net, grow up and actually *welcome* the limitations while dismissing the the notion of privacy and personal space.

    But we still have a choice, at least for now. I've been very inspired by this Cowboy Junkies lyric from their last album:

    Brand new world,
    I can't relate,
    So let us choose,
    To not participate.

    No one is making us use this stuff. We *choose* to do so. And, we can also choose to walk away, to not participate, to propel our lives in a different direction if it's what we want.
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Oct 21, 2009 4:53 PM GMT
    I prefer IM'ing with people cause if they piss me off I dont smack the shit out of them and wind up back in jail. Its a win win for me.
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    Oct 21, 2009 4:56 PM GMT
    RuggerATX saidOn the other hand, now I can go downtown with no plans to meet up with anyone, and thanks to my iPhone, end up seeing friends and making impromptu plans for the rest of the night, as it progresses. Interaction on demand.


    True. But what happened to the days of making plans, looking forward to something, showing up when you say you're going to, etc? Now it seems that no one wants to commit because they'd rather keep it open until the last minute in case something better comes along. And technology has really enabled this behavior. Every answer is a "maybe" these days, "I'll text you later", etc. Yes, it's convenient. But at what cost?
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    Oct 21, 2009 5:03 PM GMT
    I believe we have lost a tremendous amount of personal contact and communication, but not so much because of the new technology as our own behaviors.

    For the life of me I have never seen so many "busy" people in my life. We have senselessly filled our lives with distractions, and then through abuse of cell phones and laptops have managed to dehumanize our communication and ultimately one another. It makes standing up people or avoiding contact so much easier.

    I for one absolutely HATE excessive text messaging. I have friends who keep their phone with them at all times and text every two minutes. Text messaging is one of the rudest intrusions there is these days in my opinion. When people are at dinner and are sitting there clicking away like some neurotic animal while you are trying to have a conversation with them it makes me want to take their cell phone and introduce it to my friend the ball peen hammer.

    Not that technology is bad... it isn't. Even my much derided texting has a time and place. Abuse or rude use of it is the problem.
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    Oct 21, 2009 5:04 PM GMT
    Whenever I meet a guy and dating starts, I tell him that I prefer to communicate via actual phone conversation. So in the beginning, no emails and texts....I want to hear his voice. I want to see his face........feel his frustration or happiness...his body language....imperfections and all. I don't want to read perfectly thought out emails and texts. I want to interact with him and get to know each other without hiding behind these things.

    Words are cheap.

    Electronic counications have a time and place. But its no replacement for actual human interaction and people who rely soley on this I think are afraid or unwilling to show their true colors......warts and all.

    When the phone rings, I usually answer it if I am home. I want to deal with it right then and there, rather than making a mental note and somehow responding later

    When I run into an aquaintance, or a friend and he says "I will text you" I ask them to call me instead.
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    Oct 21, 2009 5:07 PM GMT

    lol, we give out our tel# a fair bit, but you know, we seldom hear from guys on here that way.
  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Oct 21, 2009 5:12 PM GMT


    In regards to meeting people, etc.....I actually am more on time and don't forget appointments really at all anymore....all due to the mobile me synching of my laptop and iphone calendar. For someone like myself its been really helpful.


    The thing I don't like about digital cameras for me is that I never get them developed. They just sit on my phone or computer. One of the cool things apple is doing these days is making it very easy to order books that are made with pics taken digitally. You pick the pictures, arrange them in the books, order and then your picture book comes in the mail.


    But I hate my digital camera...so I currently take no pics.
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    Oct 21, 2009 5:37 PM GMT
    With the death of my mother, we've been cleaning out a lot, and we just recently found a bunch of letters I wrote to my family when I lived in Taiwan in 1987-88. My father wrote me twice a week, and I wrote to them about once a week. I have all the letters I got from my father, and now I have the set. This is also when I came out, so it will be fascinating to read what was going on with me, and how I presented it to my family.

    Don't think I could do that without the physicality of putting pen to paper those many years ago.
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    Oct 21, 2009 5:40 PM GMT
    Jmuscle33write a heart felt letter to someone and then for them to receive it and write back to you


    You do that and I guarantee you'll get plenty of my attention icon_smile.gif
    I guess it'd have even more value now to have someone get out of his way and do something like that today!

    I think you can still kinda level the effort you put in connecting with people depending on the interest you have for them and the importance of the message....
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    Oct 21, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    Last week here on RJ I read a post from a guy who was dating someone but broke up. As his post describes, when they broke up, he said some pretty hurtful things to the ex and later regretted it (as he says, "it was eating away at my soul"). The OP said he later sent a note, an apology.

    I had a similar situation with a guy a few months ago and when we broke up, I said things to him I later regretted. He was a lousy guy,and still is but I still was sorry I said these things.

    The OP got me thinking, so I sent a short, to the point note of apology via regular mail. I could have sent an email, or a text, but I wanted it to mean something more than just that. So I picked out my best writing instrument and some decent stationary paper/envelope and sent it.

    And that was that.



  • vindog

    Posts: 1440

    Oct 21, 2009 6:19 PM GMT
    Funny as I read this I am writing a bunch of thank you letters to the city, police, fire department, etc for helping us produce Reno's largest and best Burning Man Decompression party.

    $10,000 raised to fund artists grants and projects in Northern Nevada

    My mom always said sending a letter is NECESSARY.
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    Oct 21, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    This talk of commitments and timeliness...is this an effect of technology or an overall shift toward a lack of manners? I've worked on a college campus for 10 years now and can attest that, all technology aside, 20 yr olds today have far fewer manners and social skill than 20 yr olds a decade ago.
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    Oct 21, 2009 6:29 PM GMT
    You would swear someone put a gun to all of these guys heads and forced them to buy an internet cell phone, add text messaging to their plan, make an IM account, join facebook or twitter. Like it or not, it is a CHOICE on your part no one is forcing you to partake
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    Oct 21, 2009 6:36 PM GMT
    i still write lots of long letters to people, i just do it by email. it's amazingly more convenient and with my phone/laptop i can read and reply much more quickly. i'm not willing to agree on the "we have lost it" meme.

    we still have it. for many of us however, the single long email with a long wait for the reply is broken up into an intermixed conversation of short messages. i think it carries just as much emotional wealth as before.

    i can keep in touch with my friends almost instantly no matter where i am rather than waiting all week for thursday night group meetup for a couple hours.

    personally i think technology has brought more of us together than ever before. sure, we interface a lot through our devices, but before we had them we just didn't interface as much. we didn't have the luxury of leaving work every five minutes to say something to a friend, and we certainly couldn't afford a three hour long distance call from here to the UK every night.

    we talk to each other far more than ever before and we meet and make friends far more than ever before. think about it, without technology, i'd never have met you and never have had this conversation with you. would you rather have it online, or stare at the wall because computers didn't exist and there was no way to have ever known me. (very very very unlikely, rather)

    icon_smile.gif
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Oct 21, 2009 6:36 PM GMT
    I kind of miss going to see a movie and now knowing everything about it, or seeing spoilers for a television show I recorded the very next day.