Humanity’s communication crisis

Written by Alex Ramsden

We are constantly plugged in. The 21st Century has essentially made the human race its technological slaves.

Not long ago, I was on the train and all you could see around were wires, screens and rhythmic beeps depicting all sorts of notifications.

The very fact that this is how we now communicate is quite a scary thought. Not many years ago, landlines and hand-written letters were our way of talking to the outside word. It is the incredible advancement in technology recently that has seen face-to-face communication and actually talking to each other completely unnecessary. Why go out of your way to meet someone, make conversation and then say your farewells when you can just tag them in appropriate memes or emoji them to death instead?

I remember the days when sending ‘Because I Got High’ by Afroman via Bluetooth on the top-deck of the number 7 bus was the height of technology. You see ten year olds strutting about with iPhones and kids learning basic skills on a tablet.

I was gonna say ‘if’ the apocalypse happens but, if you listen to my dad (and I’d say that not a lot of people do) then that should be ‘when’ the apocalypse happens, the human race will have no idea how to hunt, build or survive because we’ve let ourselves be chained to touch screens, streaming and scrolling up and down news feeds looking at everyone’s totally meaningless life and even worse banter.

If 28 Days Later happens, and if you believe the people who voted Remain then we’re gonna be banging the doors down of Lidl in a desperate search for food and water, then we won’t know what to do. In order to get in tune with the rapid changes in society then we’ve had to unplug the natural instincts that separate human from carnivore.

I’m not trying to say that iPads and apps have destroyed what used to be such a civilised and communicative society but, and it’s a Nicki Minaj of a butt, we do seem to have lost the ability to talk to each other, empathise emotionally and connect physically, without taking a snap or making a status.

The big example here is when people go to gigs. I’ve seen it a million times and said it till my face is more blue than a suffocating smurf but I don’t see how you can gauge the full experience of seeing your favourite band or artist live by sticking your hand in the air, phone glued to it, snapping away and recording videos from all sorts of angles rather than, say, enjoying yourself. Okay, so there isn’t anything wrong with that and maybe it’s me being a crusty, old crow as usual but surely there are two sides there? When previous generations went to concerts, they didn’t all get one of them disposable Kodak cameras out and flash away their evening, taking it home, sending the film off to be developed and waiting two weeks for their blurry, undecipherable photos to come back.

Sometimes, what makes us the most human is following our natural instinct. The very soul of a person cannot be filled by social media or by all those moth memes, not really. The emotional action of falling in love cannot be truly documented by Snapchat, it needs the collective symphony of hearts clicking into place together. We are all capable of communication, so let’s never forget that.