Archive for the 'solitary confinement' Category

Technology, orphanages, and solitary confinement

August 8, 2011

If we’ve observed that a lack of social contact has a negative impact on the health and well-being of children in orphanages and inmates in solitary confinement, why are we doing this to ourselves with technology?  Even if we tell ourselves we are just adding another medium, another way on interacting, and not substituting interfacing with a machine for interfacing with another human being, I think we are at least reducing our contact with other human beings.  My sense is that what may begin as voluntary and supplemental use of technology can develop into something that is mandatory and exclusive, especially if the use of the technology is monetarily cost-effective.

So, I am wondering whether we will inadvertently discover that there is a point at which a lack of daily contact with other people tips us into some sort of pathology.  And I hope it isn’t a condition of such a sort that we lose our sense of how to undo its causation.