A lot of things in popular culture have to do with the end of the world, be it by some sort of natural disaster, zombies, or a global war that ends humanity as we know it.
We struggle to survive, overcome some sort of ordeal, and in the end, everything is good and happy. Humanity carries on, despite overwhelming odds. But see, this is not what I typically pay attention to.
I hope I am not the only one to have noticed this, but in every single movie, book, or television show about the apocalypse, everyone is personally more connected.
I don’t mean physically, though that certainly would play a part if people are trying to survive and protect each other. I mean they are more like a community. They survive and keep their sanity by meeting new people and learning to work together in a way that will serve everyone in the group.
People form relationships with actual people instead of with a screen or a keyboard, whereas in the real world, we are constantly connected to some form of electronic device, be it the latest Apple technology or a laptop.
The point here is that we have very little sense of community, like what we see in the media and to be honest, I think that maybe humanity could do with a little end of the world.
With all sorts of new developments occurring in technology every day, people are finding more and more ways of being disconnected from the people around them, so that they can connect with the internet and social media.
In my house, none of my siblings (nor myself, I must admit) can go very long without checking our cellphones or iPods to make sure we don’t miss out on any messages from people that aren’t directly around us.
I, for one, use my phone to keep in contact with my friends, family and people I care about; we all live varying distances from each other, and it’s rare that we get to spend time together, so we try to make up for that by texting or Facebook messaging on a constant basis.
People today don’t have that big sense of community and purpose that people do in television shows or movies. We don’t see families sitting down and having conversations or game nights.
What we see is a group of people sitting on their couches with their laptops or phones, staring at the screens instead of making eye contact with each other. Social niceties seem to have been tossed to the wind in favour of updating twitter or Facebook and Instagramming what you had for dinner that night. We are so concerned with not missing anything in the virtual world that we sometimes forget that a real live world actually exists around us.
While I am certainly guilty of all of the above and I understand the irony of a tech junky like myself writing this, I am starting to realize what technology really means to me, my family, and for humanity in general. I spend so much of my time in my room, on the computer, that I miss out on things with my family.
Everyone misses out on the little things when they have their face buried in their smartphone or laptop; they’re busy trying not to miss anything while really they are missing everything. That to me is how the world will truly be ending.
Humanity either needs to change its overall attitude towards how we interact with technology and each other, or the world really needs to start ending because otherwise, as we advance further and further into the technological age, we are going to lose ourselves to the network.