It was pointed out to me today that people in society today have put themselves in a cocoon of isolation. It is a prison of their own making, utilized for both physical and emotional protection.
Everyone has a cloak of silence wrapped around themselves, shutting out opportunity for real time human contact. They employ their cellular devices whether alone or in a group of friends.
Eye contact is not as common as it used to be. Just meeting people in public seems to be much harder than it should be. It could be fear, it could be lack of confidence, but more likely it is fear of intimacy.
How many times have you seen a group of “friends” at a restaurant for a meal together?
How many times do each of them check their electronic communications? Sometimes conversation comes to a complete halt as everyone is more engaged in technical chatter.
This social malady is a symptom of the disease of lack of community.
This does not apply to every town or city, of course, but the lack of community has created a vacuum in society.
It has given rise to a virtual society of placebos, such as dating services and social networking sites. These sites give people a way to feel that they are connected to others without really putting themselves out there emotionally. It gives perfect opportunity for a false sense of community.
Even dating has fallen victim to this virtual reality.
Observing young people in high school, they spend a great more time as texting couples, rather than actually talking. In years past, if your love interest didn’t call on the phone, so there was an all-night discussion about anything and everything, it was not a real relationship.
They get together by text and they break up by text.
Families have become less nuclear and more spread out to several states. This is often an economic necessity but families are the heart of community.
Without community, people do not feel the sting of the consequence of moral boundaries.
In times past, certain behaviors were frowned upon by society. There was an amount of local peer pressure that kept undesirable behaviors at bay. If one wanted to indulge these behaviors, community disapproval was often harsh.
Albert Einstein warned us of this emotional numbness. He said, “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
Another great quote is from a song by the Eagles, “So oftentimes it happens that we live our lives in chains that we never even know we have the key.”
Tomorrow as you buy your morning coffee, smile at the person next to you. Make a real time connection.
Image: Courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/esthervargasc/9657863733/