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Staring At Screens All Day Will Make You Antisocial

People swore computers, smartphones and the internet would make us all lose touch with each other, leaving us stuck in our own little worlds as we stare at screens all day.

But, as this comic from Ellis Comics shows, portable tech and the internet has actually improved our interpersonal connectivity, and now we can't live without our devices because we're stuck on staying in touch!

-Via Geeks Are Sexy


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I wonder how much of that has changed because of phone usage vs. the phones just making it more obvious. At least in the literal case shown in the image, I remember mass transit before phones where many people were buried in a book or newspaper and the younger ones listened to music when the walkman came out and got cheaper. Making eye contact wasn't more or less awkward then than now. I remember attempts to start conversations were awkward more often than not and how often I was surprised people missed what seemed like obvious things like someone in a costume or wildlife. If anything, I felt like the number of people who try to sell you stuff through visual ads or to get something from you by pretending to start a friendly conversation trained many to ignore things and people around them.

Plus I don't think it is reasonable to expect everyone to be sociable at all times, and in a city you don't have as many non-public options for alone time. I'm not sure it was better pretending to be sociable when not. Even before smart phones, I knew quite a few people saying they read or listened to music, specifically because they needed some alone time and wanted it to be more clear.
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