“Looking around,” observing life, and quiet contemplation. Doesn’t sound like much when you first think about it. But it is something that has seemingly disappeared from humanity in the developed world. And no one knows what the long-term effects might be.

And we feel that it’s a slippery slope.

The decline of real-world observation

We are the types of people who hardly want to use our phones when out and about. Are we so important that we need to be in constant contact from remote places? Or to check scores? Or to play a game? To see what others are saying about something?

We spend our time in tune with our environment. This includes simple observation.

Over time, you can sense changes as well as trends. It becomes quite obvious what is going on.

The decline of real-world observation

Tech plays a major role – possibly the sole reason

The main tech “platforms” out there have all been designed with multiple psychological hooks. All designed to prolong “engagement,” or the time and attention of the users. Which apparently earns money for others.

Tech has also reduced our attention spans. This has been proven. From 280-character word-bites to looking at thousands of curated images for 1/2 a second each – our collective attention spans have been steadily dwindling down. They have this internet slang-cronym (my word) nowadays called “TL;DR” which means “Too Long, Didn’t Read.”

It also means “you missed out on exercising your brain.”

The “Pavlov’s Dog” model is also in full effect. Notification sounds, as well as the dopamine-hits for positive feedback, and the constant “checking” to see what is new.

People cannot put their phones down. Even if it is the endless “news” cycle that folks somehow believe that there is some kind of importance of knowing what fake stories are being peddled by the men behind the curtains.

As always, there are some who benefit

While most people who are continually on their phones or tablets derive zero personal gain (other than perceived happiness), some people win.

Other than the owners of such companies who are vastly wealthy – other folks tap into the human weakness for big profits as well. It’s natural. Happens across the world – since the dawn of time.

So some of those people on their phones are wheeling and dealing and quite possibly profiting handsomely.

There are always winners and losers in every situation. In this particular one – there are profoundly more losers.

The decline of real-world observation

It comes down to brainpower

We strongly believe in the preservation of the human brain. To never forget the mechanics behind thinking.

All this automation is taking that away from people.

By making everything “easy,” humans are becoming complacent, or even worse, reliant upon tech for mundane tasks. Or learning via trial and error.

Always having the right answers may be awesome for some people, but lost is the valuable lesson learned by making mistakes. Most folks cannot comprehend how important that is.

Complication and “TMI”

As people get used to ingesting information faster than ever or having more “friends” than previously possible – their time still gets used up.

Except now it happens at a breakneck pace.

It’s akin to eating too fast.

One bite of a 100 different foods in five minutes doesn’t give you time to appreciate the subtleties and texture. And can you remember each bite? Perhaps once. But over time – no way.

Something always gets lost. And those losses add up over time.

The decline of real-world observation

The Stoplight Check – most annoying

Next time you go out for a drive to run your errands. Turn your phone off or leave it home.

This is partly what inspired this article topic.

Each time you arrive at a stoplight – look at the cars next to yours.

Both the passengers and drivers have their heads down.

What is so important that this needs to be checked THE SECOND they stop? Often times I see them checking before they come to a complete stop.

Even worse is drivers who are “checking” their phones while driving a multi-thousand-pound motor vehicle at 60 miles per hour.

It’s not only rude and selfish – it puts the innocent lives of others in danger.

Darwin’s Law is capable of taking care of this – but not without victimizing others.

Counterpoint: Evolve or die?

It’s been said that everyone needs to embrace the new ways we live – or face “extinction.”

Part of that may be true for the time being, perhaps in the business world. You apparently lose an entire segment of the market if you’re not blasting your messages out in every communication arena.

And sure – it does make sense to keep your skill-levels up to date. Just in case.

However, when it comes to the way people communicate – we do not embrace the concept. We think it waters down the human mind, and makes you, well, less human. No gains are worth that. We’d rather have fewer friends and contacts in exchange for keeping our minds preserved.

Just think about who you’d want on your team if the power and “web” goes away. Those swiping skills will not be useful whatsoever.

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About the author


NJroute22 (site admin) is an avid traveler along NJ Route 22 (and almost all of central New Jersey!) Family man, pet lover, and property owner who has a natural curiosity for everything around.

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