Wired News recently featured an article titled “Comfortably Numb Relationships” by Regina Lynn. The article is a review of Christine Rosen’s paper “The Age of Egocasting“. Basically, one of Rosen’s key idea is that we are entering a time in which “we are willfully withdrawing from public spaces to wallow in a shallow, self-centered existence where we consciously avoid ideas, sounds and images that we don’t agree with or don’t enjoy.” Both authors seem to agree that our exposure and use of technologies such as Tivo and the iPod cause many to regress to a significantly isolated form of existence.
“… iPod users are accused of a similar withdrawal from the world at large. They might be enjoying their unique life soundtrack, but they are also practicing ‘absent presence’ in public spaces,”
This is certainly an interesting hypothesis in a time where social software is so prevalent. I would certainly disagree that isolated existence will be the norm in this culture, but as with society in general, there are those individuals that will always find this more comfortable.
It does remind me of the old quote by Max Frish, however. “Technology, the knack of so arranging the world so we don’t have to experience it.”
I-Pod the creation of personal space. Technology in general seems to be a form of escapism. The process of sitting in front of the
computer, researching, writing or exploring is a singular act and it becomes very easy to disappear so to speak into cyberspace only to look at the clock and realize you have been gone for hours. I wonder if this experience will wear off in time will we grow tired of it or will it become mundane and we will have to move on to new experiences?
My i-Pod is still a new experience, combining my passion for music and the ability to create my own music enviroment I find myself transposed to another space as I assume the house hold chores. My 21 year old son was trying to have a conversation with me and didn’t realize I was listening to my i-Pod, his frustrated comment was “mom I never thought I would be telling you to take the headset off”. A bit of a paradigm shift to say the least. The “times they are a changing.”