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Communication in the 21st Century: Notable, or embarassing?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by Furious George, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    In a world filled with media and opinions filling the smallest of voids we find ourselves distant from one another perhaps on the premise of lack of communication. Now, one will ponder and question how such could be when social websites such as the infamous Myspace.com receive such recognition and popularity.


    We also live in a world-wide-web of blogs and video submission sites like Youtube.com. So how can I conceive the idea that we as a people suffer social demise by lack of communication. Simple, it is because of content. The content we share is not communication that promotes open-ended correspondence. The material shared is more informative and opinionated than debatable if even note worthy at all.


    We are taking in the equivalent to "talking about the weather" and proceeding to indulge in such large amounts of useless information that we tire of everyday small talk. We care little about establishing relationships that offer no reward or blessing in the visible future. Social environments exist by choice rather than by chance and are usually more private than public.


    Neighbors are no longer friends or even acquaintances and coworkers are more like life partners. We have more interaction with these coworkers than we do our families. Perhaps there is an argument to be had that this is because the amount of time spent with each, but I believe that it is more an issue of the quality of the time spent with each.


    It is not unusual for coworkers to know about events that impact us negatively and the personal family left in the dark and not informed. We also choose to socialize with strangers from afar over the web more readily than a local stranger from our own hometowns. Again, perhaps debatable for many reasons.


    Rather than provide hollow answers and reasoning for our social actions and etiquette let us ask ourselves why we choose to change the social elements and style when they were useful and sufficient from years past. Sure we have to adapt and possibly conform to the ever changing and newly introduced ways to communicate, but the way we interact should fundamentally remain the same.


    I use to hear jokes from time to time at work and there were a few that relished much enjoyment daily from being comical, but I also took part in many conversations of interest and of varied topics. Compare this however to communication in email where I will find 80-90% of personal emails to be jokes/comical material or threads/chain letters.


    This could quite possibly be an element to the dumbing down of American society. We miss out on the opportunities to engage in worthy communication where we walk away with more value than that of a moments laugh or smile.


    Of course this is not a problem of new and for that reason we have much information to debate and speculate on. One of personal note for me being the rising population of socially inept individuals. I believe one can determine an impact has been made by the lack of communication and/or the quality of content exchanged among one another.


    Is it amazing or ironical that we are declining both intellectually and socially in an information rich world? You decide.
     
  2. hokeshel

    hokeshel New Member

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    You have some great pionts there and I agree that it contributes to dumbing down America. Perhaps there is a safety in talking to coworkers and strangers as opposed to those with whom we should be talking.
    I think it was George Carlin who has remarked that the reason we like email as opposed to live conversations is because we only have to hear our side of the conversation. For most of us, most of the time, that is really all we are interested in.
     
  3. dong

    dong New Member

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    This is quite an insightful post, IMO. I'd like to tie it in with your post regarding the misguided foci of popular culture, for one thing.

    I would also like to think that online communication has extraordinary potential in terms of versatility when compared to previously conventional modes of communication. However few people use it as such- and thus I'd like to relate this also back to the increasingly wide gulf between those who use the resource to maximise benefit, and the rest who either use it for egotistical ends or as a form of wallowing in a mire of dullness. In fact, this therefore relates to a continuation of the micro-fragmentation of society already precipitated by the extreme of the individualistic ideal- much of this discussion has been raised in threads like the breakdown of democracy as it should have been.
     
  4. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    I actually think this lack of communication comes from big media. If you have ever read my thread entitled 'Corporate Puppetry, or Human Error?', you would recall that I outlined how you have to filter through masks, perpetuated by sensationalism and corporatism. I feel that this 'mask', is quite prevalent in how we communicate with people. Saying a phrase or term that most people know is associated with a funny, yet popular movie, is funny.

    I personally like the internet because if I argue with someone who is most likely confrontational, all he can do is yell and TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE A MADMAN AND EXPOSE HIS TRUE COLORS. Whereas in person, he would most likely try to 'kick my ass', and since I'm a self-proclaimed pacifist, this would be quite an ugly outcome. Another beauty of the internet is--it's not as discriminating as a face-to-face conversation. It's commonplace for someone's outfit, looks, or other imperfections while often taint their words, and make the listener less interested.

    Oh trust me, that thread I made ages ago has been the basis for most of my though on society for quite a while.

    Online Communication indeed is one of the most powerful forms of free-speech, alternative viewpoint recognition, and in most cases, reality. Bloggers, forumers, and journalists all are the roots of this tree of anti-media conglomeration. BUT-the overwhelming majority of the internet is misguided. 50% of the internet is dedicated to pornography, and I'm willing to bet that another 25% is based on social networking, matchmaking, and other misguided acts.

    I guess I should read the full post before typing my response. What a nasty habit!

    Anyways, I agree totally. Now, the question is--how do we solve this problem? Obviously there is a 'spark', in a mind like yours and mine, that gave us motivation to partake in structured, educated thought. How do essentially 'light' the fire of the other 99.999% of the United States? (And Australia if need be ;))

    I feel this issue is easily a thousand times more difficult and complex than defeating 'terrorism'. I have come to the conclusion in the past 6 months or so, that some people really cannot survive on their own, and need a group of friends at every waking moment of the day to sustain anything even remotely resembling a healthy state of mind. In other words, ego. I also allude to the assertion that traits such as ego, are taught from birth, and become more complex as you age, and hence, becoming more difficult to counter/reverse.
     
  5. lizakollman

    lizakollman New Member

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    and this is something that is very dangerous, because most often it is true. have you ever heard a parent fight in public with a teenager? neither of them is interested in any way with what the other has to say, it is simply a fight to see who can say their point the loudest. it happens quite often that no one cares about what other people have to say - just look at our government, and who they listen to...like cindy sheehan. how many points could have bush scored by simply sitting down and talking to her - and how many NEGATIVE points would he have avoided scoring if that had happened?
     
  6. dong

    dong New Member

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    Mainly, I think that rekindling the interest in education and improving the education sector so that kids might find it somewhat relevant would be a start.

    I always quote "go to the source of the problem" here. How to fix the primary problem of a fundamental apathy and self-centeredness that underlies the whole thing (and is referred to by the others)...well I'm not really sure but I have a thought experiment running in my mind about what happens if one were to uproot the farce of democracy and replace it with a stricter government.

    Heh, I am personally attempting to fix communication within my own family with this firmly in mind. The main problem between my mother and myself is that we don't see eye to eye- so in attempts to assert our own point of view, we ignore the other, and that obviously doesn't work. I would wager that much of this common situation is not only because nobody cares about what others have to say...but they really don't want to hear it because of a certain intellectual insecurity.

    When one purports that their position is justified they need some kind of grounds for it. Rationality is today's strongest tool for it- but it is most often abused. Religion falls under appeals to authority and when used to validate somebody's frail ego, usually creates a "fill-in-my-gaps" god. Shouting the loudest is designed to drown out the other people as most are pretty blind, and will attach to the nearest large conspicuous body for the sake of being better than somebody else. That's mob mentality for you.
     
  7. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    I see what you're saying, but I tend to think that all the underyling conditions you and myself are talking about, are not bred in schools, rather, are due to poor parenting. Parenting, is indeed, the source of most of the problems, since parents often provide a model for their children, and judging by where the interests of parents today are centered, my theory is somewhat of a reality.
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Well, yes, the developmental model that I speak from holds that in different cultures different factors have different influences on a child's development. In such countries as Australia and the US, this happens to be more the responsibility (or lack thereof) the parent than the school. In, say, a system such as France, the framework of school and the activities surrounding school play much more of a integral role in a kid's life because of the hours- designed such that kids are only around the house when parents are (out of working hours). So you can see it's not a fixed constant.

    We've agreed previously that parenting has gone on somewhat of a slippery slide path over the past years, because people have lost sight of the purpose of values and we're growing up amongst the apathetic selfish generations. I think one way to fix this (apart from trying to solve piss poor parenting) is to make the education system such that it does not seem like an extraneous tacked-on burden to a child's life; a bunch of lessons handed to kids who never think that they are going to use them again and thus drift through class paying no attention to it, sinking deeper into a mire of intellectual boredom and stupefying populism.
     
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