A survey of approximately 1,000 American adults in an online survey conducted by advertising agency JWT has produced some results that are probably predictable, but are still cause for concern.
Internet surfing has become an obsession for many Americans, with just 20% indicating that they were able to stay away from the Internet for more than one week. What is disturbing about the survey, however, is that nearly 1/3 of the respondents indicated they have frequently passed on “live” activities with friends and even the opportunity for sexual intimacy in order to spend more time online.
The majority of respondents indicated that the Internet has become their preferred place of interaction with their friends and family and is their source of information about the world. According to the poll, almost half of the respondents felt their life was missing something when they were without Internet and cell phone access.
Perhaps it’s because Internet communications are more predictable and controllable than face to face communications; if someone offends you online you can just click them off. When you get tired of chatting with someone you can end the conversation much more quickly than if they were sitting in your living room.
Internet chat buddies are always available 24x7 due to the worldwide time zone and there is always online gaming and online chat available through that, as well. However, the decrease in human communications is also a product of the increasing numbers of hours that most white collar workers are now required to spend away from their jobs completing tasks and projects they were unable to get done during their regular working hours.
Companies have downsized so much that many employees are now handling their own work duties plus tasks that two or three other people used to perform several years ago. And the only way to get that extra work done is to bring it home and finish it during their time away from the office; work at home becomes both a requirement and a crutch and a reason not to deal with other people.
Humans need “down” time away from electronic stimulation and humans need to communicate more effectively with each other on a more personal basis. We believe that if the human race is ever to evolve as a species we’ve got to learn how to deal with each other “live” and in person. Otherwise, what happens when the power goes out?
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