technology is killing society

-Social networks-

Human social networks are breaking down. 

Recall that TV is not good for children.  Not even discovery channel.  Because it is you sitting. 


The first assault to face to face was the telephone. 

Even talk over the phone lacks the signals that come from facial gestures and nuance of mood.


Face to face interface is being replaced by human to video or human to email.

With no access to our species feedback mechanisms we may become less trustworthy.


The presence of another human builds relationships.  Intimacy and trust are enhanced. 

Answering machines and e-mail don’t foster that in the same way. 


Discuss how  email communication is different.  When we hear an answering machine we do the unthinkable.  Decide whether or not to respond to the voice of our closest friend or hang up.  This has psychic reprocusions.


What about the airplane?  People no longer live in the same city as their family.



On line shopping.  Malls will go away at some point.

There were once movie theatres.  Then came video.  With that you still had to go to the store.  Next...


Virtual conferences and telecommuting limit human contct in th e business world. 

Justifying the time and cost of business trips will get harder and harder as tele-travel gets easier and cheaper. 


Eventually meeting or knowing someone with whom we work will be viewed as a coincidence.  



Telecourses are getting bigger and bigger.  I did a couple in university.  Our classes were satellited to other schools.  At the end of the hour they would call in with questions. 

Poor countries are doing this a lot.  Cheaper than hiring lots of professors you don’t have.


If one feels lonely, you may want to ask how many hours you’ve spent with humans recently.


The world becomes hyper-real

When the media is better than life, the world has gotten hyper-real.

It means that life must try to imitate media.  You must try to be as good as TV.

It is hyper real.  This, that we live in is only real.  TV , video games, movies, models are all part of hyper reality.


History as movie.  History can’t compete with the movie “gladiator”. 

Which is the real and which is the pale imitation?


We talk of movies, and movie stars, because our lives can’t compete. No matter how much we try to be like TV.


Music is mostly played by machines now.  Who needs a band? 


Anorexia seems to be a tv disease.  The average model weighs 110 lbs and is 5’10’.  The average woman is 145 lbs and 5’4”.  The woman tries to keep up with TV.  She cannot.  The real is on tv.  The fake is off tv.


People dream less.  That’s because we’ve done everything on tv.  And tv is better.  the movie “road trip”  why take a road trip.  a real one would never be as great as the movie.


The 5 things that you wanted to see in society, are they as good as media things?  NO!


Where do you go when the movie is over? We have conquored physical reality, now when the movie is over we wear retro clothes.  Is retro the a matter of nostalgia, or the mourning of the death of meaning?


These images have become what we are.  They hide nothing.  It is the ultimate in self serving bias to think of yourself as not living under a media cloud . 


Society becomes beholden to, trapped by a shadow of hyper-reality.


The emergence of the subconscious

Discuss how we’ve gone from being social beings (in which the social constricted everyone’s behavior) to anonymous (in which our subconscious minds run free).  This progresses through the family TV viewing scenario.  It will help us find out if freud was right about the id.


social psych v. biology

The assumption of social psychology has been that environment causes many social problems.  But as genetics get  more and more important the assumption is that social problems are genetic.


Many homeless people have mental problems.  We’ll see more of the attitude that we can’t help people.

What if we think we can find genes that predispose people to criminal conduct?

Nearly one of four young black men are in jail or on parole.  How will genetic advances change our perception of that situation.   It is a very dangerous social psych tendency.


Legal scholars believe that the courts will increasingly rely on brain scans in determining sentencing and making parole decisions.


We now have amazing amounts of kids on ritalin.  Teachers tend to give up on kids that they think are genetically unable.  Then thyey may get discriminated against again if employers find out.


This can create a genetic underclass.



People have always been discriminated agains by different criteria.    The new upcoming discrimination will be based on genetics.


Already its harder to get insurance if your family has a predisposition to a disease.  Soon they’ll be able to prove it thouroughly and quickly.


They can screen your tendency to get sick due to toxins and then breed people to work in toxins.  If you have a certain disposition you may not be able to get a job.  They can check your disposition for depression and emotional instability. 


The head start program has been very successful. 


Therapuetic uses

1 - Other cultural perspectives

Asian countries generally put the country above the individual.

Do meditation and mention of how the idea is to get rid of the self.  All problems come from the three impurities.

What you liked in a relationship wouldn’t be considered as much.  The deal is made by the parents who are looking to trade up.


Islamic countries put god above the individual.  If you were born in islam then your life would be a discipline concerned with prayer and getting closer to god.  5 times a day.


2- analyzing the mental health system

What do we as a society do for the mentally ill?  What are our budgets.  Is our philosophy one of out care?  What do we do with the insane that end up in the prisons?


2 - Anticipating psych. problems via trends

There are more single women and angry men. 

What to do for them.

tell folks there’s comfort in numbers.


3 - useful explainations of ideas of social psychology

ex.  situation v. disposition

no matter what you explain, if people can then make sense of their word intellectually, not just emotionally , it is helpful.


Only the west puts this much emphasis on the individual.  Russians (quasi west) were very unhappy with Freudian psychology.  They asked how can a psychology put all responsibility for happiness inside the head of the individual.


 Explain that people have trouble interculturally when they attribut the behavior to someone else’s internal characteristics, instead of culture and that there is money in the comparative psychology for international business arena.