This isn’t my standard fare for an article, but it’s food for thought, as something grates on the back of my mind pretty constantly. I wake up in the morning and I think about the world I’m living in and realize it’s something out of a Sci-Fi story… unfortunately, that Sci-Fi story is something out of the fucking Twilight Zone.
Let’s say I need to buy something like a computer and I go to Best Buy. There will be about 4-5 different models, mostly inferior and stupid and weak models. If I want to get something more suitable for my needs, the associate, rather than has a conversation with me points to a sign that says MORE STOCK ONLINE.
…but I want it now. I don’t want to wait three-four days. Too bad. MORE. STOCK. ONLINE.
This goes for clothing, too. JC Penney’s selection is a lot better online than it is in the store – the problem with that is it’s clothing. How do I know how this is going to look on me or feel on me in absence of a changing room? Am I supposed to Photoshop outfits onto myself at home?
If you do happen to buy something that doesn’t have 3-5 days for delivery, like food, which you can still buy in real life, they have these machines calls USCANS because nobody wants to deal with anybody else. Unfriendly annoying machines that insist you have not “placed the item in the bagging area” when you have. About the only interaction with a human being you get is when the one person in charge of it inevitably has to come over there and key in some kind of code to tell this “smart” machine that you have indeed placed the item in the bagging area.
You think about video games. When I was growing up this was a huge social part of my life – my friends from high school, the few that I had anyway, would come over and play videogames. We made an experience out of it. We took turns with games like Metal Gear Solid and went head to head on Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and countless others. We spent all night on that shit. Now you buy a game, play it online with some assholes who use stupid non-words like PWN3D and N00B, and wonder… what happened to people and why did they get so fucking retarded? On top of that half the time your video game is NOT complete, and is full of bugs and glitches that will be fixed THROUGH A PATCH AVAILABLE ONLINE AT A LATER DATE. You paid $60 for this…
Oh, okay, so maybe it’s time to get away from such hobbies and go out and have a social life… But who exactly MEETS PEOPLE anymore? Everyone is so skittish around everyone else to the point we have effectively even COMPARTIMENTALIZED DATING INTO TEXT MESSAGES AND SWIPING APPS. Everything you NEED TO KNOW about someone turned into a screen of shallowness that lacks substance and dead-end stupid conversations where unless you are someone's absolutely 100% perfect IDEAL they have no interest in pursuing it further. Because let's just ignore the fact that EVERYONE IS FLAWED and we're all assholes in some way,
And it’s not limited to our generation, either. Even my 63-year-old mother is swiping right and left and every direction in between to talk to people. And it’s ridiculous. We spend time texting; we spend less time talking. We dispose of people just as easily. I, myself, had something with someone that lasted 6 years of nightly conversations… without ever meeting them because somehow society is telling us that MEETING PEOPLE IN REAL LIFE IS A TERRIBLE THING BECAUSE EVERYONE COULD BE ISIS.
The problem is, we’re all paranoid of each other online too because we’ve all been lied to, catfished, had our nudes exposed, or some other violation of trust via the Internet which leads us to deal with stupid rinky dink psychology of “do you like this person? Well then don’t text them until 30 minutes after you’ve eaten or you’ll get cramps.” Wait… isn’t that swimming? Oh, fuck it nevermind! My question is why the fuck is Anti-Social the NEW social? Aren’t we creating a world where we’re actually afraid to talk to people, unable to deal with people, and too quick to judge/dispose of people before we’ve ever really gotten to know anything about them? What kind of world is this? We’ve all become turtles living in shells, and not the cool Teenage Mutant Ninja kind, either.
The last time I hung out with someone in person for the intention of hanging out with them was October 11th. It’s November 16th. Now keep in mind I TALK TO THIS PERSON EVERY DAY VIA TEXT MESSAGE WITHOUT FAIL.
Before that, I can’t remember the last time I hung out with someone was hanging with my best friend and I can't remember the last time WE hung out because he never pays his phone bill on time and we live in a society where not doing that is the same as practically being DEAD. We have convinced ourselves that unplugging from the Matrix is in fact, life suicide. In fact, maybe he is dead? We’re not “Facebook Friends,” and don’t get me started on how easy it is to just NOT like someone anymore.
Unfriending, Unfollowing, all this social media crap has just made us all into a bunch of easily offended assholes. Even I’m guilty of getting sick of people’s crap enough where I’m like “alright, I’ve had enough.” As much as I’m aware of it, it feels like there’s no resolution to the problem.
Resistance is futile. We have all been assimilated. We are all Agent Smith.
My question is how much further “into the box” do we need to go before we all start realizing “hey fuck this, let’s go outside and interact with one another?” Why are we training ourselves to be more afraid, and more stand-offish, and more quick to dispose of one another and more quick to hold each other at arm’s length constantly through the use of machines? Why are we so afraid of being human? So many Sci-Fi movies and fantasy talk about the day the machines take over the world. They already have. And we’ve become slaves to them. Just a little food for thought. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play World of Warcraft instead of actually going outside despite the fact it’s a wonderful day out.