Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hmm …

… Bryan Appleyard — Hell Is Not Other People. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

The simple, obvious point is that hours of daily screen-watching reduces the time available for real-world contacts. This is bad for business, as companies are now realising. A Harvard study in 2012 found that companies that cut down on workforce costs actually become less profitable, a finding that detonates decades of management theory.
I wonder. I spent nearly 30 years largely in front of a computer. There were, of course, people all around me. It didn't seem all that different from the years I spent in front of a typewriter. On the other hand, I don't spend any time on a smart phone — I don't have one. I don't take any selfies. I have noticed that my teenage godysons seem inordinately plugged into YouTube and the like, and are credulous in a way my buddies and I when I was a teen never were. On the rare occasions I watch TV, I have been prompted to wonder if people today are affected by seeing all these actors pretending to be ordinary people. Real police really aren't like TV police. Real journalists are like those you see on screen. In short, it's all a mystery to me.

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