The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Log off

We are witnessing yet another collapse of our brilliant capitalism. The markets continue to crumble while social issues rise to a boil not only from within our borders, but around the globe as well. We are approaching several thresholds; some will be met sooner than others. I have witnessed and expect to see more changes of massive proportion through my years here. I hope to catalyze my own changes during this life.

As a country, we're moving in the right direction. I think.

What I really think is that we are witnessing the collapse of an entirely different aspect of life, one that’s taking place right in front of our eyes while many ignore it. Collapse may be too strong a word. Change is nicer, like a lozenge that numbs the pain of swallowing.

In 2006 it was projected that adults in America would spend 65 days (1,560 hours) worth of time in front of the TV and 41 days (984 hours) listening to radio in 2007. They did.

Much of this time, by my best estimates, is spent receiving and exerting levels of communication on a much lower level than say, a book club. This doesn’t even include computers. In 1999, home PC use around the world was at one trillion hours per week. Half of that was spent online. The numbers have only grown since.

We’re still not including time spent on a mobile phone; the word texting makes me cringe.

So let me just get to the point. Many people feel that there is no need to analyze our cancer like evolution of social-media trends and devices over the recent years. I disagree. I feel that we're undermining our efforts to improve by allowing ourselves to be so consumed by these. They're a snare on our potential communication skills.

They’re snaring us by creating boundaries. Digital boundaries.

We can not learn to communicate well by morphing the way we communicate to fit the mode of communication. Important information and interaction that we at one point had no choice but to attain on a face-to-face level is being replaced. What happens when people stop associating body language and inflection with conversation. What happens if a young man is more familiar interacting with people over a digital device than in person? What happens if our words become more hollow than they already have? Do you not think this is possible the way we are headed?

We live in the age of the digital enclosure act.

So just stop for a second. Stop. Please. Turn off your cell phone for a week. A day. An hour. Unplug your Internet for a while. Whatever your hummingbird heart can manage to bear without – more often than not – wasted photons being pumped into your eyeballs and brain. Put your foot through the television screen and do something. Really.

I'm not saying it's bad. I'm just saying it's dangerous.


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