Saturday, August 22, 2009
Internet use linked to increased douchebaggery, loneliness
I just read this article from Cracked about why the 21st Century is making people miserable. The author claims that the proliferation of technology has allowed people to build up a wall around themselves, thus allowing us to lose the sense of community that used to be so vital for survival in the past. The Economist ran a brilliant special report on this in their April 2008 issue (I can't link to the full articles, as they are premium content). Highlighted in this report were the findings that 1) interaction between strangers has decreased while interactions among existing friends and family members has increased 2) but these increased interactions among family and friends had degenerated from meaningful connections (long conversations about feelings, goings-on, etc.) to more insignificant "pings", often sent through text messages (im in frnt of physics bldg - wher u at??).
The impact of this is that we draw closer to our existing friends and family, but we simultaneously push out the possibility of finding new friends. I'm not the only one to notice this - "I Love You Man" was about a successful, normal guy who couldn't find friends and had to go on "man dates" to find someone to hang out with.
People are getting sadder and lonelier too - and they are getting more dependent on their spouse for friendship and companionship than ever before. A study from 2006 suggests that Americans are becoming increasingly isolated from one another and are losing close friendships and confidants. If you couple the loss of a sense of community with the anonymity of the internet, you get a lot of people who feel disconnected, isolated, sad, and free to do as they choose once they're online.
This ties in to the job search because job seekers are getting increasingly frustrated at the lack of common courtesy they're being shown throughout their interactions with companies. Job seekers report that the biggest frustration during the job search is not the lack of available jobs, but the lack of response from companies that are hiring. Companies are literally pummeled with resumes all day and sometimes must sift through 500 per day for one position. This makes that task of interacting with each applicant very difficult, but not impossible. And what companies like to forget is that these job seekers that they so happily shovel off into a trash pile will one day have jobs and may be potential clients or customers. It pays to treat everyone with respect, regardless of how worthless you initially deem them to be.
Posted by ElizabethJames at 12:39 PM