Emotional Intimacy and Technology | INFJ Forum

Emotional Intimacy and Technology

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Keirouen, Jun 18, 2014.

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  1. Keirouen

    Keirouen Community Member

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    As the title implies. Has the transition into portable technology damaged the intimacy of your face to face interactions?

    We can be somewhere with our friends. With our families. We can be physically there and yet our minds can be completely somewhere else.



    Has portable technology and constant connectivity changed/damaged/improved:

    • How you "manage" your friends?
    • How the routine of your day feels?
    • How you deal with a problem?
    • The quality of the time you spend with the people you care for most?


    Google glass. Microchip implants. Constant streaming of every second of your life. We will further integrate the cloud and wearable technology into every second of our lives.

    Will exclusivity and privacy be a thing of the past? What challenges will the intimacy in our relationships face?
     
  2. Maybe

    Maybe Four

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    The privacy is something I expect to either see disappear entirely or become the next hot thing following some major wake up calls.

    I was talking with my mother the other day about how I rarely use Facebook because I don't want my life to be online and available for people to browse. She responded by laughing about all the drunken pictures she sees on the walls of other relatives and how employers can see them, but that's just how things are these days. Many people who grew up with the increasingly personal nature of the Internet don't think twice about posting their face, linking all their accounts together, sharing whatever they're feeling at any given time, etc, because it's so ingrained in their life.

    My family and friends still talk at the table when we go out for dinner. We'll pull out our phones during the slow moments and check a few things, but we're generally very private people who dislike social networking and talk as much as we used to. Now my brothers have something better to do than flick bits of paper at me.
     
  3. Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    There is actually a wealth of scientific research on the impact of technology on human relationships. The general trend we are seeing is that greater immersion in technological mediums like cell phones and the Internet gradually creates greater distance from other people. The flow of personal data through machines has become so thick that many drown in it, focusing all of their attention on keeping their heads just above the stream, staying updated about all of the minutia in people's lives such that they get sucked into an unending whirlwind of social media. With so much going on, always checking on this or that site or person, our attention spans begin to get shorter and shorter and we become more and more fixated on staying in touch with other's lives that we cease to exist in them in real-time. It's a paradox that we can be so much more connected to others yet have no intimacy with them. There is a wonderful book called "Alone Together", written on this topic by its eminent researcher. We are becoming desensitized and no one seems to notice.

    Another negative effect of technological overload is diminished social skills. The younger generation, the ones who are typically around tech the most, tend to avoid phone calls because they either don't know what to say over the phone or are uncomfortable talking to another person in real life; with so much potential information at their fingertips, they also tend to be impatient, unwilling to wait for much, unable to resist temptation, and even more unwilling to do anything tedious. Texting and driving rates are soaring among teens (and adults), causing more accidents, deaths, and raising the price of insurance. Interestingly, and not a bit saddening, people who have low self-esteem, poor social skills, and/or fear about human relationships can instead turn to artificial beings like robots and blow-up dolls and such to satiate their desire for social contact while constructing a comfort zone for themselves in which they need not improve deficient areas of their lives. (Japan has a growing market for this kind of thing. The dolls in particular are becoming more...customizable, too.)

    Those are a few negative trends, anyway. There are other, more positive ones. Easier social connectivity makes it easier to stay in touch with family and friends who are physically distant from us. Older people, who generally become ostracized in the United States and other places where productivity is highly valued, also have a means with which to stay connected with their loved ones, potentially alleviating depression and feelings of isolation and uselessness. Tech also makes spreading knowledge and raising awareness about events and products easier.

    There's a lot more I could say, but I will stop myself here for now.



     
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  4. Rain

    Rain Regular Poster

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    In my case, the internet has primarily affected me as an educational resource. Rather than check the library, I usually look for a university article with a quick search, which is to say, a hand fed lifestyle. My personal relationships of those I interact with only in person, or only online, are much the same. I am and have always been a private person when it comes to any information regarding myself, so I suppose having no desire to share my life stories with any but my closest friends, it would stand to reason my privacy is a matter unaffected by the internet. I consider the potential for closeness identical between technological interactions and in person interactions, however, I tend to dislike any sort of attention, so in person I will reject anyone who approaches me. On the internet, if someone is approaching me, it is because they have already found something about how I talk, or my interests in which we can relate, as opposed to some random person flirting or trying to kidnap me.
     
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  5. dudemanbro

    dudemanbro Community Member

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    My homeostatic urges are thrown into chaos. I chose to be alive at this time in history for a reason; it better be a good one.

    Technology? It's the Devil. But alas without the Devil we would be in the garden of Eden forever, immortal and unchanging. How terribly boring.
     
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  6. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    No, because I never made that transition.

    Last time I had a cell phone they were still JUST cell phones. This was around the time they were transitioning from bricks to flip phones, but just before they started having color LCDs and video games and stuff. I think texting was just becoming available but was very expensive and uncommon.
     
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  7. Khalid

    Khalid Newbie

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    Hello there.

    I really liked this topic, thank you very much for it.

    Here in my country there is a military school that has a peculiar rite: when a new group of students enroll, they have to spend at least a month without access to any mobile phone, computer etc.; no Internet, no messaging, nothing like that. The results are outstanding: they display all the symptoms of a drug addict going through cold turkey; they puke, they despair, they experience fevers and so on. Not only adults, but also teenagers (mostly them, I would say) and even children. What they do in the school was tried in some scientific experiments with the same results. This surely tells us what the indiscriminate use of technology, without any care, has been doing to our minds.

    Fleeting concentration, bad sleeping habits, eye problems, orthopaedic complications, brand new types of addictions... and we could go on speaking about what taking some things that are no more than tools as central elements in our existence has been causing. Everything is so fast; we grew used to all this speed and want everything to be like that: we jump form one article, or topic, to another, barely reading and meditating about what we see there – sometimes we even read some of one, then jump to another tab to read some of other, then speak a little bit at the chat, then answer a message on the mobile, then... well, you know and you can imagine all the benefits of this to our capacity of focusing. People doesn't have patience to long conversations or deeper strings of thinking; they can barely read a book, and when they do, they also share the attention between the reading and a myriad of other things.

    And so, they tend to want the other people to conform to the limitations of this poor habits a behaviours; it's hard to wait someone to finish speaking – oh, can't you just type? It's faster that way! – before we speak our part; and nor we, nor they, even understands what the other is saying: it's just like some posting game, in which everyone shoots some random phrase and the other tries to connect it with another random phrase, and so on. People nowadays don't now the true meaning of "talking" any more; of sitting down, without worrying about social networks and our workplace, and just spend sometime learning about the day of our family, learning something from a wise person etc. Why? We can just look at everyone else's profile to know about their daily life, and we can just watch some video on-line to learn about anything! O, brave new world!

    Radiant Shadow is correct about diminished social skills. We can't really know how to communicate without being able to look at someone's eyes, reading the emotional reactions to what we say, all the gestures, the tone of the person's voice etc. But we don't get that on a text chat, do we? So we grow accustomed to speak to some digital constructs – the best image I can give of this is to see someone typing a "kkkkkkkkkk!" with a long face – and to become digital constructs ourselves; first there is our truly individuality and our on-line persona, with all the idiosyncrasies it displays, and then there is only one thing, more like the latter than the former. We get to the point that our reality is the on-line world: if I don't share everything I do, then nothing actually happened; people need the others to "like" what they do so they know they're real – but only if they keep sharing, keep posting, keep "liking" etc.

    But let me answer the original poster's questions – by the way, eveytime I see "OP", I read it as our pal, so I tend to stick to the full text. Here I go:

    Has portable technology and constant connectivity changed/damaged/improved:

    How you "manage" your friends?

    Oh, no. I don't think so. I was a popular kind of person, for good or bad, but I always had just a few friends. Every time I used social networks, many "contacts" would find me (I don't know how they did that so fast) but they're satisfied by just having me as a "friend" and eventually send me some message or asking for an advice; but my actual friends, even if they were also contacts in those social networks, would mostly speak to me personally, or, when they're far, by phone. Me and my friends spend more time reading than browsing, and few of us have the newest mobile phones and tablets and so on, so our relationship is pretty much the same.

    How the routine of your day feels?

    I have to do some drone computing on my workplace, but other than that I spend most of my time with books – and I spend most of my time on computers reading as well, or programming or something more active like that. I don't have a modern mobile (what I have can do little more than calling). I try to stay away from some new technologies to keep my mind focused and acute – eating pumpkin seeds also helps with this, by the way. I'm not so influenced by the phenomena we're discussing here.

    How you deal with a problem?

    Try to make all these tools useful, with defined purposes for each one. Mobile phone to call and eventually send important messages – since it's an old model, it takes long to write anything, with makes it very hard to get addicted to meaningless discussions. Computer as a learning platform – I participate in one social network but just following teachers in areas of my interest, writers and so on; this is the only forum I visit, and also with the intent of learning. Not TV at all; when I want to watch something specific, I use the computer; television is a brain killer. And about the reading, that I mentioned, it is a true panacea to keep the mind focused and healthy.

    The quality of the time you spend with the people you care for most?

    Mostly discussing themes of our interest (Islam, philosophy, literature, poetry etc.). Sometimes we watch classes together (on video or not) or one of us give talks about some theme of his or her expertise. Occasionally we get together just to eat and drinking something (no alcohol, though), to talk with each other about light themes – but some way or other they tend to revolve the education, religion or our personal lives in general – and/or to recite poetry. Few friends, as I have said, but deep and meaningful friendships.

    Google glass. Microchip implants. Constant streaming of every second of your life. We will further integrate the cloud and wearable technology into every second of our lives.

    Some will, some won't. There are many things people can't live without, but rarely with justice. Technology makes many things easier – it's nice not having to travel to Romania to learn with some of my teachers, for example –, but I could go without most of what I have here. Until the moment the governments come with some Fahrenheit 451 prohibitions, people like me can fare well with books and talking. And for others, the people of years past did well without much of what we have now, in terms of learning, relaxing, having fun, working etc., without less machines. Some will go crazy, but some can do even better than they do now in extreme situations.

    Will exclusivity and privacy be a thing of the past? What challenges will the intimacy in our relationships face?

    There are those who want just that Рjust a continuation of experiences we had before; I won't ever forget Stasi's motto and directive: "To know everything." But of course we can, and must, fight against that. Otherwise we won't even have any intimacy to be challenged. When you're naive you can still take Huxley's Brave New World or Orwell's 1984 as fictional writings, but if you think it long enough you will begin to see therein The Shape of Things to Come Рthis is also the name of another book, this one by H.G. Wells, relevant in this context. The biggest challenge here? People will actually like to have the intimacy abolished. Look at our society: how many want to be nude (and dressed as close as possible to that, and closer and closer as time goes by...), want all their lives to be on-line, want everyone to know what they do at any given minute, want to love in public and in any place Рthey like more their "partners" because the desire that others feel for them; and, by the way, this mimetic aspect of desire was correctly pointed out (and thoroughly studied and analysed) by Ren̩ Girard in his works: people want because others want the object of their desire, be it a new car, a new job position, a new pet etc. etc. etc.; think about how adapting one's life so it will be absolutely transparent to everyone will help them when it comes to displaying what they have and do so people can desire it and watching the life of others so we can do the same?

    My best regards to everyone.
     
  8. Lark

    Lark Rothchildian Agent

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    I think it has but I think it started a long, long, long time ago.

    I'm not a luddite but I know communications technology has been a classic example of two steps forward and four steps back.
     
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