Monday, April 16, 2012

The Lonely Crowd

We're all aware of the paradox:  The larger the crowd you're in, the lonelier you're likely to be.  Contemporary life, with all its technological wonders that make communication and travel faster and easier, thereby connecting us to an ever larger circle of people, has, as we say, paradoxically, made us even less connected.

I'm routinely amused (and more than a little disgusted) by the now common spectacle of small gatherings of people at restaurants, the mall, a ball game, wherever, who, while clearly together, nevertheless only infrequently look at each other.  Instead, their heads remain bowed before, and their eyes fixed on the smart phones forever in their hands, anxiously reading from or thumb-punching messages to some other they wish could be with them as well, presumably so they could ignore them too.

Anyway, Stephen Marche writes an interesting piece in which he analyzes the phenomenon in the age of Facebook.  It's a bit long, but worth the time.

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