But it doesn’t stop there. Technology will advance. Something new will catch our attention and we’ll all jump on that wave. I reckon Virtual Reality will be our new reality. What do I mean by that? Well, you’ve probably seen VR machines popping up every now and then, or at some point, you’ve put on a VR mask in a shop. Imagine being able to meet up with friends without physically doing it? My brother is experiencing this right now, with Fortnite. He’s controlling and customising his own character and chatting away to his friends that he had just seen in school hours before. And that’s just the gaming world.
Each day that goes by, we’re all just kind of stuck in our own routines – work all week, go home and catch up on shows, and see friends on the weekends. That’s my routine anyway. There would be an occasional outing after work when a friend pops up, but a majority of my time is spent in my own space. So when I really think about it, what do I really do with my time?
When I’m done with work, I go back to the flat, probably tidy up the mess I created in the morning, prepare something to eat and just … sit in one place and click from one app to another for hours until I go to bed – while a TV show is playing in the background. I used to enjoy doodling and drawing in my spare time or reading (I still do) but it’s not a constant thing anymore.
If I’m being honest, there are some pros and cons to this. Coming home from work and just lounging around and scrolling through Twitter really is my own way of unwinding. Yes, I’ve spent all day doing marketing on social media, of course, I’m going to hop on my personal Twitter app to “pree”. But do I really need to be doing that all evening? I’ve already spent 8 hours online at work.
There’s a side to this that I just don’t enjoy at all. It’s the negative side of social media. It’s the constant spreading of bad news. I remember on the night Grenfell Tower was on fire, I was seeing tweets from a girl who was inside the building. I saw videos of the fire being streamed on Twitter from locals. Whenever a black man in the US gets shot, we’re literally watching him take his last breath. Poverty. War. Refugees. Racist people in power. The list goes on.
Have you ever felt extremely exhausted from constant bad news? It may sound a bit far-fetched as I am not going through any trauma as remotely close to people suffering across the globe, but it still affects me. You can’t tell me you can read all this depressing news and the state we are in every single day and not feel a way.
The internet and technology have connected us all to people we’ve never met, but it’s also isolating us at the time. It just makes you wonder how we’ll be living 10 years from now.
I was having a conversation with someone and we spoke about technology for a good hour and 30 minutes. Honestly, it was one of the best conversations I’ve ever had because it was actually enlightening. First, we spoke about how content we used to be without all these gadgets that we have now. As a child, I was happy with using just the computer (remember AOL dial-up?) for an hour or two and that was it. Those 2 hours were spent playing games and eventually getting MSN etc. But eventually, I would actually get bored of the Internet and just walk away from the screen. You see, there was a particular activity called “playing outside” and riding bikes. What a time.
The point is, once I was off the computer, I had no connection to the Internet. And I was good with that.
Now? We can spread our own thoughts, ideas and even fight back on the news we are getting from BS outlets like The Sun and Daily Mail etc. The consumers have the platform to tweet original news and get a different perspective on a situation from their own phones. Heck, we’re even paying money to stay connected to the Internet every month too.
Although it’s a good thing to be able to be in tune with what’s really happening around the world, technology will continue to become more advanced to the point where we will all become isolated. It’s already happening now. I can sit somewhere and gaze at my phone before realising that hours flew by. Why? Because I have everything I need on my phone. Netflix for movies. I can google whatever the hell I want. I can shop. I can send a text or jump on FaceTime to chat with friends. And Twitter literally is my newspaper. In fact, if I don’t feel like going out today, I can watch what other people are doing from the comfort of my own bed via Snapchat and Instagram stories. Do I even have money? Wait, let me check my banking app instead of walking to the nearest ATM. What if I leave my bank card at home though? Oh wait, I actually have a wallet installed on my phone to pay for things. Tell me what else I really need that my phone won’t give me?
There have been many moments when I went out to eat with friends and I had to force myself to not pick up my phone, enjoy the moment, and have good conversations. Meaningful conversations.
So the isolation I’m talking about is how we’re all communicating on social media, having a laugh, making friends online, sharing images of holiday throwbacks with the caption: “Take me back”, watching TV shows/World Cup games, and tweeting commentary online when in reality, we’re all looking like this:
It’s the year 2036. You’ve come home from work on a flying car or something, you walk into your house to find your kids and partner sitting in their own virtual reality machines, living in another world. They’re looking dazed, sitting still… living life somewhere else. You’re probably thinking… “That’s bizarre”.. no you’re wrong. You’re the one who bought the kids a VR machine for their birthday.
Like I mentioned earlier in this post, I did say that sometimes the world gets too overwhelming. So what if we had the chance to escape it? What if virtual reality became a prominent thing in society? To the point where people would upgrade their machines as much as they would upgrade their phones? There’s actually no “what ifs” here, it’s happening right under our noses. Yes, you might think it’s weird and creepy but when that time comes, you’ll be seen as that person who doesn’t have a VR machine. When you want to actually do something fun with your friends, you won’t be able to because they’re all hiking in Peru with your other friends. I don’t know how weird this may sound to you right now but with technology, anything is possible. And quite frankly, I’m just letting my thoughts spill out through this keyboard.
So yeah, about isolation? I’m going to make a real effort to do more with my life… right after I share this post on all my social networks.