Monday, September 7, 2015

Idia and the Get Off the Phone Song

            Somehow since the introduction of the iPhone in June 2007, the majority of Americans have completely shifted how they distribute their attention. Interactions that would usually happen face-to-face have been redirected into pixels on a screen, and nearly all of our entertainment has been placed in the palm of our hands. Thanks to recent advancements in smartphones and tablets, access to the media is simpler than ever. Technically, we never have to look up from our screens, yet we can stay completely up to date with news and with our friends. The instant interconnectivity that the Internet provided us with changed the basic social structure of the world in a matter of eight short years. An argument could be made that the Internet and smartphones have brought the entire world to our fingertips. We can communicate with any person in any part of the world as long as they have WiFi. On the surface, this new Internet international community appears to be like koine, or the highest form of intellectual communication. Social and political issues can be discussed with people of all viewpoints in all parts of the world, which potentially could unite the world and bring immense change. However, how often do each of us use our smartphones to change society or broaden our horizons? On a day-to-day basis, smartphones are used to simplify our lives and to show off how cool our lives are. The addictive and self-centered properties of smartphones have increased the amount of idia in our society, while the koine intentions of this technology have fallen to the wayside. Yes, smartphones have made it easier than ever to throw our opinions on social issues or politics into the world. However, due to the selective viewing nature of social media, we do not have to listen to opinions that contradict our own. Idia now runs rampant in our society, because people are addicted to showcasing themselves on social media rather than interacting with the real world around them. In recent years, the citizens of the Internet have become somewhat self-aware and are trying to help people become more involved in their real lives. This viral YouTube video produced by Rhett & Link almost feels like a catchy, musical PR campaign against idia and technology based narcissism. Of course there is plenty of irony in self-proclaimed “internetainers” who make their living off of people wasting time on YouTube creating a video that encourages viewers to get off their phones, but their points are valid and their delivery is effective. Rhett & Link poke fun at the “foodies” of Instagram who show off their food instead of enjoying it, and the social media addicts who document life instead of living it. Smartphones were meant to bring the world closer to us, but we are now so focused on making ourselves look good to the world that we block the real world off. In a perfect world, koine and idia would find a balance where we could learn from what others have to offer online and we could apply our expanded knowledge to our communities. Unfortunately, a combination of the addictiveness of technology and human insecurity has diminished the agora intentions of the Internet as well as our involvement in real life. Through a silly roast of our ridiculous Internet habits, Rhett & Link are promoting a reduction of idia in our society. Although the future of our relationship with technology appears to be drawing us farther away from our immediate surroundings, videos such as Rhett & Link’s give us a bit of hope for a self-aware society.

No comments:

Post a Comment