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Subject: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: Tia on 03/24/06 at 5:28 am

So my bank account has run kinda low because i've been too lazy to go deposit all these paychecks, yeah? and so i've been using that debit card thing to pay for everything and have really been struck by this bizarre experience where you go up to a counter with your cheerios and your light bulbs, there's a clerk there who asks for your "CVS card" or whatever so they can keep track of your purchases, and then he swipes your card through a machine while you swipe your debit card through another machine. you want 20 bucks back so you hit that cash back then. then the dude puts your stuff in a bag and gives you twenty bucks and you haven't exchanged a word other than "do you have your cvs card." he's standing right there but instead of communicating to each other, you're both communicating ABOUT each other through this machine between you.

i was at this party a couple weekends ago talking on the porch with a couple of people who met through singles.com, and they're all, yeah, pretty much EVERYBODY is meeting everyone else through singles sites on the internet. maureen from this couple, she was in the know with a lot of folks at this party and everyone who showed up, she's like, oh, yeah, betty and dave, they met on singles.com, too. oh, it's daphne and george. yahoo personals. they themselves were all, well, i never would have met maureen working at nasa, and she never would have met me while she was teaching.

so it strikes me how much we communicate with each other through machines (hello! what am i doing right now?) -- is this a trend? is it happening more than it used to? and if so, is it a bad thing, or is it just a different way of meeting people? is it a sign of vanishing community? (in the old days or in small-town life you'd know your grocer on a personal level and would probably marry someone who met in your local high school or in the neighborhood...)


Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: Trimac20 on 03/24/06 at 7:00 am

I think machines don't really have much to do with us becoming more impersonal. They are a technological progression, not designed to eliminate human contact, but to make life easier. If humans were naturally so gregarious, why are buses so quiet (except for those who already know each other)?

It's society becoming more individualistic (in many ways, born out of economic system) and isolated. The internet, while it has helped connect many people, also makes pre-existing social isolation worse. Those people who spend 8-10 hours on the internet (well, since I've got broadband, I'm approaching that figure myself) are a case in point.  I think dating sites are good - just the newspaper classifieds of the era - and actually allows people to meet people. I know (myself included) many shy (and not so shy people) find it difficult to date through 'conventional' methods of pubs, social events.etc. I'm not one to judge whether this is 'better' than the pre-machine age, but I think it shows that human connections are still the most important thing.

Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: quirky_cat_girl on 03/24/06 at 7:53 am

I have noticed this type of behavior in stores/restaurants, etc....where the person working barely says 2 words to you. What I hate the most is whenever you say, "thank you", or "have a nice day"...or something polite, and all you get in return is a blank stare. :o

Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: Donnie Darko on 03/24/06 at 11:10 am

Yes, but it's not technology's fault, it's people letting it take over their lives.

But yeah, compared to pre-late '90s times, yes.

Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: La Roche on 03/24/06 at 1:10 pm


So my bank account has run kinda low because i've been too lazy to go deposit all these paychecks, yeah? and so i've been using that debit card thing to pay for everything and have really been struck by this bizarre experience where you go up to a counter with your cheerios and your light bulbs, there's a clerk there who asks for your "CVS card" or whatever so they can keep track of your purchases, and then he swipes your card through a machine while you swipe your debit card through another machine. you want 20 bucks back so you hit that cash back then. then the dude puts your stuff in a bag and gives you twenty bucks and you haven't exchanged a word other than "do you have your cvs card." he's standing right there but instead of communicating to each other, you're both communicating ABOUT each other through this machine between you.

i was at this party a couple weekends ago talking on the porch with a couple of people who met through singles.com, and they're all, yeah, pretty much EVERYBODY is meeting everyone else through singles sites on the internet. maureen from this couple, she was in the know with a lot of folks at this party and everyone who showed up, she's like, oh, yeah, betty and dave, they met on singles.com, too. oh, it's daphne and george. yahoo personals. they themselves were all, well, i never would have met maureen working at nasa, and she never would have met me while she was teaching.

so it strikes me how much we communicate with each other through machines (hello! what am i doing right now?) -- is this a trend? is it happening more than it used to? and if so, is it a bad thing, or is it just a different way of meeting people? is it a sign of vanishing community? (in the old days or in small-town life you'd know your grocer on a personal level and would probably marry someone who met in your local high school or in the neighborhood...)


It's true!

This is something that's been almost imprinted on us I think.

Ok, I told you the other day right that I had to go and see Janice. Right, me and her get along fine.. about an hour ago I got an e-mail from her assistant asking me some questions.
Now, granted, this is at least communication from a person but Jesus Christ.. me and her were chatting the other day fine and then she needs to ask me 2 simple questions and she dosen't even wanna pick up the phone  :P This is de-personalisation.

Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: KKay on 03/24/06 at 7:54 pm


It's true!

This is something that's been almost imprinted on us I think.

Ok, I told you the other day right that I had to go and see Janice. Right, me and her get along fine.. about an hour ago I got an e-mail from her assistant asking me some questions.
Now, granted, this is at least communication from a person but Jesus Christ.. me and her were chatting the other day fine and then she needs to ask me 2 simple questions and she dosen't even wanna pick up the phone  :P This is de-personalisation.


the person that works two desks away from me sends me email..
not only do we opt for the less personal communication, but we also are beholden to keep our correspondence- a trail of information so we can cover our butts if things go wrong, or point a finger at someone.

Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: La Roche on 03/24/06 at 8:50 pm


the person that works two desks away from me sends me email..
not only do we opt for the less personal communication, but we also are beholden to keep our correspondence- a trail of information so we can cover our butts if things go wrong, or point a finger at someone.


I e-mail my mother, I haven't spoken to her in about two and a half months.
Same thing, it's easier to write it than speak.

Subject: Re: Is Daily Living Becoming More Impersonal?

Written By: Tony20fan4ever on 03/24/06 at 9:24 pm

I'm actually more comfortable communicating online...face-to-face I have a harder time, because I think people look at me as 'some ugly fata$$'..or at least that's what I heard people say about me when I'm walking around outside, minding my own business..rather than talking to me, they make fun of me. That's what makes me extremely cautious about who I talk to and who I let in as a friend. I've been burned too many times to just trust anyone. Even my program staff.

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