The May cover story for The Atlantic magazine points out that though Facebook and other social media can help connect people, we’re as lonely as we’ve ever been. We now spend more time counting our Facebook friends and updating our profile pages than actually relating to each other in real ways, or thinking about the deeper questions of life.
But there’s more to it than Facebook. Cultural artifacts, including technological ones, reflect our values. Our long addiction to technology means we value technical knowledge over moral knowledge. We tend not to reflect much on the sort of people we should be or the responsibilities we have to others but rather, we trend towards perpetual distractions and isolation.
One author who’s written about this is Sherry Turkle, a psychiatrist at MIT. The title of her book says it all: Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. Virtual relationships aren’t the real thing. I’ll point you to Turkle’s book at ThePointRadio.org. I’m John Stonestreet.