Community in the Age of Connectivity

I am by no means anti-technology. When you take a step back to think about the things that we can do and the ease with which we can do them, technology is staggering. I can send a personal message to anyone, anywhere in the world almost instantly. The messages aren’t even tied to paper or any other tangible medium. We write our words not in ink but in light, then aim them at space and know with confidence they will arrive at their destination within seconds. Whaaa? And that’s just the technical side. Socially, all this allows us to stay in contact with family across the globe, receive the answers to any questions mankind has the answers to, and keep a constant stream of entertainment at our fingertips. Never has it been so easy to be independent. Or stay inside. (Seriously, watch this and notice the utter lack of personal interaction...or front porches for that matter.) There are plenty of other perfectly good technological improvements in modern society, like cars and air conditioning that I don’t want to give up any time soon. However, if I am in any way concerned about society outside my door, I have to be aware of how these conveniences tend to limit my interactions with the people closest to me.

And technology is just one of the “bricks” that make up the wall between us and our neighbors. Can it be used to connect us instead? Sure, and here’s a good example. But when it comes to relationships of proximity (the ones who we depend on in times of disaster or needing a cup of sugar), technology’s default result is separation.

Take a look at the graphic below. Let it be food for thought. Then go enjoy a conversation with someone within walking distance.

Community vs Connectivity