Friday, September 21, 2018

The Illusions of Instant Communication

From Return to Order:
The first illusion is that of instant connectivity. It really is not instant, and it often does not connect. People claim they need cell phones for connectivity, especially in cases of an emergency. Phones will always help get ahold of friends and family. However, the small emergency just mentioned proves that technology can fail. In this case, having “instant” connectivity proved little better than the ancient yet ubiquitous pay phone.

However, this illusion of connectivity can be taken one step further when a person comes to be obsessed with the connection itself. The person feels full of anxiety without a constant and instant link with the world. It foments what has been called the fear of missing out syndrome (FOMO). People have the illusion that being connected is a lifeline. Insinuated in this urgent need is the notion that the world cannot live without an instant connection to the individual. The message is: I am important.

Incidents when technology fails show us that the world can get along fine without us. We are not that important. We might as well get something to eat. Some commentators have reported on what they call JOMO – the joy of missing out. There are times when disconnection can be good and improve our well-being. (Read more.)

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