Picture a world not so long ago, when every single person you meet is truly there, attentive and tangible. How things have changed.
In a manner remarkably similar to the Industrial Revolution, and arguably with wider changes, the world has restructured itself to a non-physical web of communication and economy. At most restaurants, parks, and public places, it is amazing if less than a quarter of the populace is not truly there because they are lost in the unlocational but omnipresent Internet. Clearly, it is a blatant abuse of one’s life to overuse the Internet to the point of detracting from the myriad other experiences of life.
Whether or not one interacts with others on the web makes some difference concerning its effects. Being completely isolated for a long time can cause loneliness and depression, but even while having superficial interactions the same can take place. The only possible replacement for true friendship face-to-face, or at least temporary substitution, would be deep and fulfilling conversations online. You may ask yourself; how often do these occur? Are they normal and expected or surprisingly anomalous?
In interviews with baby boomers and the “Greatest Generation”, it is clear that in most cases children used to play outside often and relatively unsupervised, perhaps too much so. Nevertheless, they enjoyed their immediate surroundings. Nowadays, nothing short of a power outage could hope to produce a similar result. I have observed a subset of children using almost exclusively terms from the currently popular video and computer games, at this point Minecraft. If they are asked a question that would be exceptionally easy to answer in any other decade, “What is the durability of shears?” instead of saying “Good,” or “I’m not too sure, I’ve never used them,” they are more likely to say “238.” Children are either following adults in their addictions or overtaking them.
It is not necessarily in the presence of the online habit but in the absence of the overusers doing much else that its harmful effect is most strongly observed. When Internet addicts become a majority in an area, it quickly causes in most cases a dehumanization and communal numbing. There is much joy gained from online stimulus, but it is instantaneously fleeting on nearly every occurrence. Television has similar effects but is being slowly overtaken and replaced by the Internet. In one of these neighborhoods, if one decides to walk around and enjoy a beautiful sunset or sunrise, there will rarely be more than a small subset of people enjoying their immediate surroundings, as most will be occupied doing something else. All of their houses will be virtually bathed in EMF fields.
The electromagnetic field (EMF) caused by these numerous electrical devices truly do cause many observable changes. People have actually migrated to an EMF-free town in Virginia in order to avoid it. Some of the purported changes high EMFs make are increasing subconscious mental activity and dreaming and nightmares. If the power in a house or the whole street is turned off, a curious energetic change immediately takes place– the buzzing kinetic feeling drops gradually through floor and disappears, in its wake is a cleansing, peaceful, but creepily unfamiliar atmosphere. It’s as if the air is simplifying itself viscerally. If no attention is paid to these feelings, they are harder to notice, however to my friends and I these impressions are quite strong. The best way to experience this is to try it yourself.
There is no need to completely avoid the benefits in communication, the ability to buy otherwise unavailable goods, or the useful tools commensurate with the Web. It has many capabilities that truly come to positive ends. If you choose to partake in it, be confident that the Internet is being used in valuable ways by you, and not that you are being used and abused, your time being irreparably sucked away, by its everpresent authority.