The Silent Society: How Americans Have Replaced Words with Clicks

Posted: November 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

Americans are doing the most mundane everyday task online, particularly on their smartphones, and this growing habit of avoiding the spoken word has become the new luxury in our lives.


Headlines like this prime the reader to think of technology as replacing valuable interpersonal connections.  It also triggers an implicit assumption that how we used to do something–our current schema– is somehow the ‘right’ way or morally superior.  If we equate this to electric saws versus manual saws, it seems ridiculous. We know there are times when an electric saw is overkill for the task at hand.  We don’t give people enough credit to know the difference between using technology to avoid standing in line to deposit a check or waiting on hold to make a dinner reservation and talking to their best friend.  Instead of focusing on fears of lost interpersonal relationships, we should focus on setting goals and making intentional choices how to use our recaptured time–whether it’s to improve our productivity at work or to squeak out a little time for mindfulness meditation.  The danger is, as it has always been, procrastination.  I don’t need Facebook to procrastinate.  I have a zillion other tools that have stood me in good stead for years.  Now I just have to reorganize my bookshelf before I finish writing that chapter….


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