rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from xkcd.com, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
Dear fuck if I see another article on how the internet causes mental illness or discussion on how tech has gone too far because everyone checks their phones all the time instead of socialising "properly" I will break something.

So let me tell you something. I've always been fascinated by computers, but they weren't a part of my life full time until I was sixteen. Until then I had very rare, limited access at schools and relatives' houses. So did I spend all my time playing outside and having proper meaningful interactions? Fuck no, I stayed indoors, drew weird pictures, and wrote weird stories. The only difference was I didn't have anyone to share it with, especially when I started to get older and everyone around me lost interest in "let's pretend" games. Pre technology was a lonely time for me.

It's not like I even had that weird of an interest set! Just nobody else around me seemed to be into storytelling or drawing or science stuff!

And then I got a computer at home and there was this thing called the internet where I could meet people who were. And wow, suddenly I could be social with people without feeling fake. It's still difficult for me to meet people locally who like the same things I do. And really, being alone for so long is one reason why my skills in that area are still pretty dulled, which is another barrier to making friends, but that's not technology's fault. As for people who would say I wasn't trying hard enough or I needed to be pushed, believe me, I was pushed. Didn't make any difference, I just felt fake. But you know, go on and tell me forced interaction with people I had nothing in common with was more genuine. Go on, I dare you.

As for stuff like "people are shallow because of the internet" uh, I'd argue most of human communication is pretty shallow. Certainly when I'm together in a group for work purposes etc there's a lot of gossip, which I hate. That stuff's always been there, it's just more visible because of the nature of the internet. (For what it's worth, my issues with Facebook and most other modern networking sites are simply that I don't feel the culture suits me, and the features they have don't match what I need. It's a bit more specific in the case of Facebook because I don't like the social pressure to use it or be perceived as having something wrong with you, but I don't have any trouble with people enjoying it to keep in touch with others if that's what works for them.)

Oh yeah, and kids checking phones in class? Hate to break it to you, but doing non-class related things in class is nothing new. For me, it was doodling. I can't say I've ever found classrooms conductive to learning anyway, unless the topic's something I'm really focused on. But I've always felt that I did most of my important learning outside of a class setting.. at least until leaving compulsory schooling. People are going to get distracted and it probably means they're in an environment that isn't suiting them. Taking away the distraction isn't going to solve that problem. Engage me, and I'll put them aside and listen.

And as for mental illness and heavy internet use correlation, that seems pretty obvious to me because I've been there. Online it's easier to find people who understand what you're going through. Makes a lot more sense to me than some nonsense about the internet causing mental illness or something. My troubles are because of people acting crappy toward me, not some sort of creepy brain rays coming from the computer. (Okay granted some of the crappiness was online, but it was stuff that could just have easily have happened offline.)

But I guess it's easier for the average person to believe in Internet Brain Rays than to accept that sometimes people just prefer to communicate differently.

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rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)
evil northern overlord

June 2017

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