Follow

technology + solitude 

I've just spent two hours drinking beer and eating snacks in front of my computer. Video chat with a dozen of colleagues to welcome a couple of new people. It was nice and fun.

But at the same time, I felt an overwhelming dystopic vibe. Everyone trapped in their own animated thumbnail, trying to look good, petting their cat, pretending everything is fine. Connected, yet alone, and so far away, on so many levels. Is it the new normal? Is it the future?

technology + solitude 

@ice

There is nothing normal about what you described.

technology + solitude 

@RussSharek There's the pandemic of course, but everything else was already here, and this is probably what bothers me the most. Scrolling through people because they didn't fit all on the screen, each in their own tiny rectangle, talking to each other but also to mere pixel remnants of themselves, sometimes almost here, sometimes freezing on a single frame with robotic voices, dropping in and out like moving cogs in an ever shifting system. It was unreal in many, many ways.

technology + solitude 

@ice

Stay human (or whatever suits you) despite it.

technology + solitude 

@RussSharek I've been thinking a lot about what being human means lately, and "whatever suits you" is certainly the wisest possible answer.

technology + solitude 

@ice Not sure it would be better if everyone was in visible despair. Strange times for sure, but nothing wrong about making the best of it. Thank god we are as connected as we are. Imagine social distancing in the 1800s.

technology + solitude 

@strobljus Of course, it's awesome to be able to keep in touch so easily. But, to me, the pandemic is only one part of the picture. There's something wonderful but also deeply alienating about how technology connects us. I can't quite name or understand that feeling, but it's here.

technology + solitude 

@ice I agree completely. I'd say the pandemic brings out almost an existentialist perspective on tech. You come to realize how everything is there for you to be able to be alone in your apartment for the rest of your life. Like looking into the abyss.

It's hard to come to terms with, but during a pandemic it happens to be ideal.

technology + solitude 

@strobljus Yes, you sum it up pretty well. It's a bit like if the society described in Asimov's "The Naked Sun" actually came to life. Everyone living in their own space, with almost no physical contact, using holograms for social interactions and robots for everyday tasks.

technology + solitude 

@ice I relate to the feeling very much. I try to make the most of any possibilities to meet in-person, take walks, disconnect from tech, try to connect with the body. It's definitely part of our shared reality at the moment but it will pass.

technology + solitude 

@rosano I hope it will pass, but big tech/data is gaining even more influence thanks to the pandemic. People who previously didn’t use computer all day long are building new habits, society is shifting to digital life at an increasing rate. Sure, there are alternate ways of living, but in the mainstream, cyberpunk (with little to no punk) seems to win over solarpunk.

@ice The main reason I feel skeptical of the increasing amounts of Silicon Valley stuff lies in the fact that, since screentime runs up against (current) human biology, any notable increase in screentime has to have some sort of solution to the adverse effects it can cause, which Silicon Valley hasn't really addresed. (At least from what I've seen)

@detondev If it can make them more money, I’m sure they’ll find a solution. Or won’t care and keep lying, like the tobacco or the fossil fuel industries.

Sign in to participate in the conversation
Merveilles

Merveilles is a community project aimed at the establishment of new ways of speaking, seeing and organizing information — A culture that seeks augmentation through the arts of engineering and design. A warm welcome to any like-minded people who feel these ideals resonate with them.