Originally posted by @moonbus
I have often observed several teenaged girls sitting on a bus or walking side-by-side, texting continuously, but not speaking with each other or even making eye contact. They think they are connected, with zillions of 'likes', but I see no real interaction going on among them, it's all virtual these days. It's weird what passes for friendship these days.
I worked at a startup in South Plainfield NJ, starting in August, 2001. Early on our Phd's were working with labs at Rutgers. So one day I was sent to Rutgers to pick up some science work and I saw three guys walking together, each one on cell phones, not even looking at each other but clearly minds a thousand miles away. I thought, welcome to the 21st century🙂
Ten years later I was at an airport, two teenagers sitting opposite one another on facing benches texting each other, clearly since she would type something, he would giggle, he would type, she would giggle, and they were not 5 feet apart.
I think this is a transient phenomena though. I think technology will advance to the point where you would have bluetooth like gear embedded in the brain directly to speech, hearing, visual centers and so forth so it will be more like electronic telepathy and no typing needed.
The people with that gear on will still be disconnected from the immediate reality around them though just like texters today.