This is a criticism against society, or some of the things I don’t like in it. I wrote about society before, and not just once. The usual “all flash, no substance” or shallowness is what’s going around merrily (and it’s been since quite a while). We know that technology makes rapid movements, but not all of it is good. Some things have gone pretty wild and out of order, and this is why do we suffer more. Well, it’s mostly the fault of humans not the other things (technology).
1. People are so apathetic that they don’t care (they do for some bling-bling maybe)
In this age, if you’re lucky enough to born into a ‘modern’ country, you have miracles around you that you don’t even realize or take for granted. Running water, medicines, fancy technical gadgets, vehicles, electricity, gas, supermarkets or hypermarkets that feed you with almost everything etc. are not available everywhere in the world, despite what you’d like to believe. In Africa, people need to travel 6 miles on average to get water. They also don’t usually have clean water (you can argue that yours are not crystal clean as well, but it’s still a lot better and won’t give you health issues). I’m also sure that at some of the poorest places, people could kill or gut you for that little food – that many of you even throw in the trash as it’s in excess and you can afford that. Yet, people still like to complain so much when their gadgets don’t work, or when they need to replace some of their clothes, or when waiting for too long at restaurants, or just about anything that’s only slightly discomforting, while life is certainly much-much worse and harder in a 3rd world country that they can’t even imagine in the first place. If you take a look at history, then you’ll see that we, the lucky ones have things that the previous generations did not have.
We don’t give a damn about our meaningless lives. So why should you, intruder?
2. Phones and tablets made you iForgot to be social and human
People nowadays have super-phones, oh wait, smartphones. I also have a nifty little mobilephone and do you know what do I use it for? I rarely use it for its intended purpose: to call or message people, I can’t even do that, no money. I think in the previous years I only received a few calls from my mother when I was in the hospital. But I use it to listen to music (primary purpose), sometimes watch some videos, and as an USB device to transfer or backup data. And wait, it can also be a good source of light in the dark, although the battery won’t hold forever. I only take it with me to show me the time when I have to obey time limits, although I should wear the wristwatch.
If I’d have to tell you what makes people more miserable, then this is it: phones. In society, I’ve seen many people deeply focusing on their phones that they ignore their environment. End result? No human interactions anymore. They just sit there or stand there, whatever, and dumbly focusing on their phones, tablets or whatever this generation is so fond of. The only thing using phones constantly do is that you rob yourself from the moment you’re in. Hello, what about the beauty of your surroundings? Now don’t get me wrong: these phones have merit and can be used for useful and worthwhile things. But most of the time, most people don’t do use it for smart things. Well, I won’t get a smartphone ever. It’s an insult to humanity, yes, our nature. But it’s late to change this fact now that people are now like a society of self-obsessed zombies. Now all we need is a catalyst that infects the human population, we’re getting there eventually. Oh noes, still no signs? Well, there is still possibility. Now people are all about using their phones in nearly all (social) situations.
I’m too busy to care what’s around me. Leave me alone.
What’s the point of staying on or connected for all the time? Those gadgets make you available for others and force you to keep in contact with people you shouldn’t even bother to socialize with. People have the expectation that they can contact you whenever they want – and you’re going to pick it up or if you don’t they make a big deal out of it. Honestly, I don’t like the idea that people now don’t even need to try to find you, that they can just lazily use the phone…And well, you pay more money the more you use this crap. And the more you use the phone or any fancy gadget, the more you miss out on real life. You can take a millions of photos or videos (afraid to forget everything?) but then you’ll miss to live in the moment. While these phones are advanced as little computers by now, their primary function is still to be a phone, so that you can stay in contact with your most important friend(s) or family. You want to play games? Get a console or a decent gaming rig with some games then rock on. You need e-mail? You can use the desktop computer when you get home or the laptop at work, why hurry to check e-mails so much? You want to have a camera? Then buy a proper one, the sound and video quality is shameful here. And multimedia, I mean, video watching…too little, not that enjoyable, although I use it for learning purposes (foreign language videos). And editing pictures and other stuff…that must be very enjoyable on little devices, I can imagine. Think about how much you recharge your phone, how much money it steals from you, and how it makes you more miserable when you’re in slight discomfort and want to plug yourself off from reality. Personally, I’d only use cellphones when there is an emergency.
This is ironic, that me, the socially awkward guy finds delight in the fact that there are worse cases now when people don’t even know how to communicate properly when it comes face-to-face. At least I have some basic clues. Hey, what’s going on? Don’t become robots! Phones destroy your mind and your social life. And unfortunately yes, for that kind you’re expected to have a phone or you’re a nobody, so I’d rather be a nobody. Now I’ll ignore anyone who is all into a phone or tablet, as they are obviously superficial and possibly dumb that I don’t want to deal with.
3. Social skills have gone down the drain. We socialize much less, and prefer to virtually
Some of the things you used to do as a child (if you’re in my generation) don’t exist anymore. When was the last time when you interacted with your neighbors or actually known them? When you last paid a visit to your acquaintances? When you went out of your way to talk to the elders in your area (not your elders, but other elders you don’t know)? When you didn’t shun other people and could talk with them for a bit while on your way to somewhere? When was the last time someone asked about your well-being and it felt genuine? At best, you get greetings and partings, and that’s the only thing you say to others and the others say to you. This is all a little something that you and they do to act polite. And then what next? Well…Yes, that’s next.
Hey woman! What if you’re sitting near to a person who’s about to KO? Check the breathing, at least…
In this digital age, many people gather online friends while sitting alone in their room. Social networking is a little wishful way to depict what society and connection aren’t. Instead of meeting with people in real life, you chat or write online, not having an idea how to treat each other with respect or care, maybe use a web cam and something like Skype, but it’s still not as good enough as being next to a person physically and do things together. It’s also easy to sound clever when you copycat other people’s words for your own. But when there’s something wrong in your neighborhood, then who’re you gonna call in an emergency? I don’t know, you hear noises that indicate murder, you may hear gunshots or screams. Do you try to call the police, try to check what’s going on? Or just continue your mighty e-journey? Or when you sense there is a fire near to you, will you try to save the inhabitants on your own or call the firefighters or just ignore the whole case? When an old woman stumbles on the street ahead of you, are you going to help her to get up or walk away as if it wouldn’t be in your sight? This has actually happened with me, and me and an other old woman helped her up, others just passed by. So much for empathy, right. Everyone’s so into rushing ahead in their self-obsession of phones, computers and whatnot that they completely ignore their environment. Even if a missile dropped on them, they wouldn’t care, they don’t want to miss those silly status updates or to comment on those silly hangover pictures of their friends…
Social networking (Facebook, Twitter and the like) is just an illusion that wants to depict a less harsh version of society. The Internet is to share information or materials, and not to make a thousand friends nor to socialize. This alienation – that you close yourself down as a human person and rely on a technical gadget to connect with others – makes you inadequate for real human relationships. What if I take away your Internet, phone, tablet or computer/laptop? That’s your game over, lad. And why is it important to learn real ways to handle people? Here: you would not go outside and beat someone up just for the fun of it, because you know the consequences, that you could pay for it. But when it comes to the online magic world, you can’t reach each other physically, so insults and other insolent behavior is more tolerable without any kind of punishment, it also has its art: trolling.
It’s also mind-numbing how much we rely on the Internet. So what if you no longer have that option? What are your alternatives? Time to go back to the traditional activities: sports, books, get on with your chores, cleaning, martial arts, sleeping or relaxing, or actually going out from home and taking a walk in the park or something! What? You mean you can’t be creative without it? This is why I save certain content from the net to my HDD, so I can learn without needing the Internet. My laptop is a dedicated language teaching tool. And without the Internet, you can only concentrate on studying, right?
4. Everything to the cities, nothing to the countryside
As a fellow villager, I have my doubts with the cities. They love feeling superior to the country folk, but actually living in a city makes you not just more stressful but also screwing up your intelligence. Try walking through a busy city and a deserted park. When in the city, you need to adept to a ton of information, such as traffic lights, signs, traffic, even if you don’t realize it, your brain keeps track of these things, all the lights, smells, sounds, crowds or in one word: stimuli. This tires out your brain and so you’ll get worse memory, learning problems and poor attention. This is what makes you more likely to buy useless things or eating junk food on an impulse (so that you can stop for a while). And well, that junk food does no good to your brain, digestion or health in general. Also like it or not, sugar is making us more stupid, but you can regain that with good omega-3 fatty acids, and Flora happens to have that in my country (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids), so you can smarten up with 2 slices of bread. It’s also quite bad that nowadays you can get seasonal vegetables and fruits in hypermarkets all the time. But those things should be eaten when they have their season, anyways…
The difference is simple. Villages are the perfect places to live (esp. for seniors or retired persons), but they have less opportunities than what you can get in cities. Nevertheless, you can appreciate the beauty of nature: you won’t hear many birds chirping in cities or see much trees or natural wildlife between buildings. You won’t appreciate flowers or wildlife, or the sunset or the dawn. You live cut off from nature, distance yourself away from it, it is an artificial man-made hellhole. It’s also unhealthy and polluted in general, so no free and pure air. You can also feel stuck in the maze of tall buildings. Life is very costly. As a villager, the inability of living in a simple and natural way stroke me as a shock and I will never like it. Also due to the overcrowded population, you get little accommodation and you find yourself having to avoid bumping into people many times. Distances are long, so you may need to get up earlier by one or two+ hours to save time for traveling to reach your destination in the intended time. People in the city have no sympathy or care for each other. In a big city, you can also find the night life dangerous with mobsters, gangs and other deranged fellows looking for victims. In my village, you can see people talking to each other as buddy-friends, using casual words without holding back their voices, that won’t happen in a city. You’ll have a hard time seeing crowds in villages (though you get a decent bunch when it’s the sales or some event). They have a tiny population, so less shops and stuff as well.
Unfortunately, as a villager, you’re forced to migrate or temporarily move into a city for many reasons. Cities have the advantage when it comes to education, libraries, medical facilities, plus you can enjoy the restaurants, hotels, parks, gardens, markets…things that you simply can’t find in the countryside. Also you get the most opportunity for work in cities. In villages, you have to depend on agriculture for a living (mostly). Other advantages of a city is that you get into a mix of cultural bag: you can’t just find different people from all over the country, but also foreigners with different views on life and culture that can broaden your experiences. In a village, you won’t see many (if any) foreigners or people from other parts of your country. It will be a little community that you’ll likely know from your palm. Why there couldn’t be a little more life in villages and a little less in towns or cities is beyond to me. Villages could benefit from a little more expansion so that we could work without having to travel many miles.
Thanks to this essay for the differences between cities and villages. I added my few own thoughts too.
5. We messed up the Earth way too much
We could benefit more by working with nature, rather than distancing away from it and think we’re greater than the Earth. We’ve pretty much messed up our precious planet’s ecosystem, and there is no point of return to repair it properly. How many species went extinct because of our wrongdoings? And why do you think the climate is changing, right at this moment too? Or why do the lives in oceans are falling apart? I guess humanity will face extinction, maybe not now, not in this century, but someday in the future. Humanity deserves it, this bitchy race. When they run out from fossil fuels and don’t find good ways to tame renewable energy on the long run, then what happens? The transportation and constructions also destroy nature and life in general. And what for? For more convenience? Stop those filthy humans nature! Natural disasters are a good strike to pay back at ‘em! This article is really interesting if you have the time.
Why would you completely destroy nature that gave birth to you?
Well what’s going to happen several centuries later or something? Don’t forget that the human population will increase by a ‘little’ in the future, so we will have increasing needs. But what happens? A breakdown. Damn if that will happen, then I was a lucky prophet. Without a good relationship with nature, you shoot yourself in the foot. Global pollution and climate change is not really helping in this case, plus not making serious efforts not to mess up your planet is like digging your own grave. Time to change your selfish nature guys, and care about the outer world and not just your inner ones. You’ll have a little more time so try to find solutions, and if you fail to comply, bye-bye.
6. Bad movies and reality shows
All a blessing to entertainment, right? However, what people miss to appreciate is the content. I remember when you did not have many options to see a movie and when it was actually exciting to wait for a new premier. There were no “online movie sharing” sites where you can now watch movies for free. When you sweated to reach a working torrent file, and sometimes that did not have enough seeds so you wasted your time, thus you were forced to buy the movie or watch it in a cinema. But now you don’t even have to do much sweating here, just search and find and fetch, mission accomplished. And as time went by, good movies decreased. Now most of the things you can see in movies or in TV are now all aiming to get bucks (mainly), and not to provide too much stimulation to your mind or emotions, so they dumped the quality pretty much down the drain. There are exceptions, nonetheless.
More like fail shows than reality ones, if you ask me.
However, think more of yourself in the skin of average people: they have lousy jobs, frustrating chores, annoying children, they are pretty much exhausted and tired when they go home; in all that frustration mess they cannot have a rationalist thinking, so in the end of the day, they just wind down with bad movies (and they don’t care), hence why bad movies are so much more popular and in demand. People prefer to claim into false promises and delusions than to listen to rationalist thinking that forces them back to the harsh reality they don’t want to deal with. They don’t control their tempers, and all those violent movies will feed them the thought that violence is the key to reach everything you need, and they would rather make a war or a riot or some other violent action instead of remaining peacefully at home and work. And while I’m at this, we can go further to other form of arts, as well: novels, books, anything human-made reflects who they are, but I’ll stop now.