Are We Becoming Social Hermits?

Our world is shrinking. The Internet was predicted to bring sweeping changes to the way we communicate, to bring the world together, connecting us all as a community over distances.

Maybe the changes aren’t working for everyone. Have you noticed there seem to be more cases of shut ins, people with agoraphobia and other social related issues which cause them to close down or hide themselves away?

The information age is bringing us too much information, too much social connectedness and too much time of being available versus giving ourselves some down time. It’s not just the Internet now. People seem to be attached to their mobile phones like chain smokers. Is it really just a way to communicate without ever being face to face, in the same room with someone?

Far more people claim to be introverts than extroverts. So why are we pushing social interaction so much? Why are we filling every available surface, every form of media with information, far more than any human being could ever absorb? What is the rush to share? What is so important that it needs to be shared, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

No wonder some people want to get away from it all. There is a lot of ‘all’ to get away from. It’s not even easy to remove yourself now. Go to a remote location and you will still find some form of social communication creeping in. There will be advertising, likely a phone, radio, maybe even a television, if not a laptop computer. When do you get away from all the noise? When do you have that down time?

I never get away completely. The best I can do is lock the doors on the house, stop answering the phone and don’t turn on the television or the radio, or the computer. I take a book to bed with me. A real, paper printed book. It’s very quiet and though it does have ads for other books – it saves them for the back of the book which I only see when I have finished reading the book. They don’t pop out at me, they don’t demand my attention in any way.

If you watch an old movie or a movie about people surviving after the end of civilization… doesn’t it seem kind of peaceful and simple? Communication tends to be the spoken word, or a printed page. I watched a movie about people surviving after alien plants took over. Some part of my mind was thinking how nice it would be… locked away in that big old house they found. They made it safe against alien plant invasion and there were so few people left in the world that there was no outside noise left. How cozy to be there, a huge fire for warmth and all that quiet, the information highway, the mobile phones, the television… all of it silenced.

After awhile I’d miss the Internet. Not the phone. I had a mobile phone for a week and returned it to the store. I just don’t want to be available to the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’m a social hermit by choice.

See my other posts related to taking or needing a break from it all:

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