Something weird is happening and it’s not just with technology but technology is just another example of it happening and technology is making it happen faster and fiercer. People have always distanced themselves from the immediate lived-world through abstractions and advanced symbolic language. And now we’re really distancing ourselves not only from the direct moment in the lived-world, but from one another. And there’s this arbitrary cover that really we’re all still interacting in more or less the same way, but we have forgotten the deep importance of presence and how much this is pivotal to allowing us to truly engage in one another. That distresses me tremendously, as someone who has worked her entire life to get people to confront their humanity as it is mirrored in others.
I wonder what it might be like if technology was designed with multiple user interfaces rather than just as a personal, hand-held device. I picture something like a cube computer monitor on a train or a platform where each person could interact with it through thought alone (we can already do this) but then combine screens and data based upon the way that others around them were interacting with the common medium. So…two people could read the same book or news article at the same time or something. I mean, I’m not sure how much better that would make it overall…but I do like the idea of the internet and that unlimited access that we have to information and thus the idea of sharing that in a multiple-user system is really kind of romantic to me. Whether or not humans would ever go for it is another story…we tend to leave each other alone and we’re too threatened to do otherwise.