Mankind is turning into the Borg. In an age where technology continues to advance, it can be hard to resist and limit our use of these gadgets. They’re so convenient, aren’t they? We just reach for our iPhone or iPad like second nature. We just can’t seem to help ourselves.
But these smart gadgets, while incredibly helpful, are rapidly taking over our lives. How often do you see a family out for a meal together, only to watch as each one of them spends the entire time glued to their phone or tablet? Is chatting to a friend or surfing the internet really more important than having a good meal and a fun time with your own family?
We’re Turning into Zombies
(must see video below)
One of the more alarming trends is people turning into disengaged, uncaring bystanders. When once a person would immediately help (or at least call for help) when they encountered someone in trouble, these days, the first reaction is to whip out the phone and start recording it.
With the unbridled rise of social media, coupled with the ability to instantly call/text/post/email, people are more interested in capturing every event, no matter how small or great, on a device. Why? Well, to post on social media of course.
There are stories daily about bystanders who happened upon someone else’s misfortune and rather than assisting in some way, they gather around, watching the horror unfold and record it like vultures.
“It was an all-too-familiar scene. A car parked at a gas station in Beaverton, Oregon this weekend had caught fire, and a group of people gathered around it, not to help the poor woman trapped inside the vehicle, but to shoot video of the unfolding tragedy.” – Splinter News
“A similar scene unfolded last week in Lorain, Ohio, with a different outcome. There, a 17-year old lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a home, another SUV, and a tree. Police say that when Paul Pelton arrived on the scene, though, he made no attempt at saving the driver and his passenger’s life. Rather, he filmed the ugly scene on his cell phone, and allegedly later tried to sell the footage to “at least two news organizations.” – Splinter News
There’s the story of a woman on the London Tube, seemingly passed out, gripping a pizza box, with pizza sliding onto the subway floor. Was she asleep? Had she passed out from a medical crisis? Or, was she dead? Apparently, few bothered to consider these possibilities when they whipped out their trusty cell phones and proceeded to record her in that disturbing state. (see: Metro)
Then there’s the now infamous story of a man being dragged off a United Airlines flight…in which no one even tried to help him: “Instead of intervening in the assault, the passengers stoically took out their cameraphones and pointed them toward David Dao, whose body was dragged along the aisle of the airplane, glasses askew, face bloody, and belly exposed. Their immediate response was not to speak out against the outrageousness of what was going on, but to create an instant digital record of the incident.” – Quartz
There are countless more examples if you’re interested in researching the subject. The maniacal obsession to be on our cell phones and to capture that one “cool shot” to post to social media, is turning us into mindless zombies. We’re becoming cold and cruel in how we respond to people in distress.
This video is a great depiction of the problem because its so disturbingly accurate (turn volume’s up):
This video is scary, because it’s so accurate. This is what we’ve allowed ourselves to become.
Life is never going to really, truly happen through the internet. A picture or video posted to Facebook is never going to be as beautiful as the real thing. And, if people would rather stand by and film a person in crisis, rather than trying to help, then mankind is in dire trouble.
If we’re not careful, many among us face an unhappy life of vapid, meaningless video snippets, pictures and tweets and I doubt they will bring us happiness when we’re old. Life is supposed to be about engagement, interaction and experiences. Funny, with the increased ability to instantly communicate with one another, we’re growing apart as opposed to closer together — I don’t think that’s a good thing, do you?