by Ak Akkawi
“The more plugged in we are to technology, the more disconnected we have become – unplugged from a reality that has detached us from moments that pass us by,” says social worker, Aisha Akkaoui. Thanks to social networking sites, no moment is private. Everything is shared.
Young children have been conditioned to capture moments with technology, instead of the real moment itself. Moments need to be collectively validated in order for them to hold some credence, according to Aisha.
“This social interactivity sees the loss of individuality. I am seeing this more and more with children I work with,” Aisha says. “Children have lost the magic. They no longer see the magic in sounds, the magic in nature; they no longer lose themselves in personalised moments. They have lost their natural self. Everything has become battery operated. There is no longer an appreciation of the world around them.”
Adults are the same. Work, bills to pay, rushing home to make dinner. Life gets in the way. “Adults become stuck in the cycle of life and stress. They do not make the time to appreciate a moment and have lost touch with reality,” according to psychologist Sue Ryne.
“Plugging in, adults turn to technology for interaction. Creating a new reality, whereby the self does not play a part, but isolation does,” Dr Ryne says.
“Never has this been more noticeable than when you are on public transport,” according to local hip-hop artist, NJE.
NJE, understands this better than most, “When you look around on trains, gone are the days of friendly conversation with strangers. Everyone has their iPhones checking their latest Facebook and Twitter updates.” NJE understands that people have things to do; they lead busy lives chasing after their opportunities.
NJE, who busks at Central Station, says, “It doesn’t bother me that no one listens. I understand everyone has their own taste. On top of that, most won’t stop as they have places to be. I am happy with a smile and some change in my hat and I get plenty of both! And on top of that I do it for my soul.”
As Sue Ryne says, “As people grow older, through the use of technology, an ‘idea of reality’ is formed, whereby we lose contact with reality itself. Reality isn’t an idea, it’s reality.”