Not so long ago, it was considered fairly unsociable simply to sit in front of the television with a group of friends rather than interact with each other. Last night, as I sat watching the big screen with four other people, I realised that even that wasn’t our focus anymore; it was the five small screens we were all clinging onto. Does that make us unsociable? Well, yes and no.
I would argue that we’re more sociable now than ‘the good old days of yester-year’ purely for the fact that we are always connected with one another. One hundred years ago, if you walked away from a friend, that was it until either you received a letter by post or you saw them again. Nowadays, no sooner have you walked out of earshot of each other is it possible to call, text, video chat and play games with them through your mobile; and that’s not even beginning to talk about the monstrous social media revolution that’s burgeoning as we speak. We are connected in ways that were unimaginable in the not-too-distant past and yet simultaneously, we find ourselves disconnected from the people immediately around us.
The board games of a few decades ago have gone mobile – transcending the barriers and restraints of time and whereabouts. Last night’s game of choice was ‘Draw Something’ – not dissimilar from the popular game ‘Pictionary’ except for the ability to play it anywhere at any time. We were all engrossed in our little portals to this virtual world, yet in doing so we were still socialising, enjoying each other’s company and generally having fun with each other. It’s just our meeting place wasn’t the lounge in which we were sitting. It was somewhere else – somewhere we can’t see or touch, but somewhere that connects us all the same. Does that make us unsociable? Undoubtably, the conversation suffers a little at times, but not entirely. Sometimes just being in the presence of the people you love says more than words can anyway.
It’s an interesting discussion point. Does the mobile revolution make us more sociable or less so. What do you think?