Many of us can still remember what life was like prior to the communication technology influx of the 1990’s. Land line telephones were the only communication technology that people personally possessed. All other communication was done in person or through the postal service. Technology on the whole was, of course, much more minimal several decades ago. There are mixed feelings about what it has done to us as a global society to leave behind these more simple times. It is the opinion of many people that the abundant presence of communication technology in our present time has made us more anxious, disconnected and unhealthy.
Before communication technology went digital and pagers, cell phones and personal computers emerged, there were different ways of approaching life. Presently, one of our most universal excuses for always having our cell phones on us is for the event of emergencies. This necessity did not apply several decades ago. In the past, people lived with the understanding that if they stayed close to home, they would remain in closer touch with their friends and family. If they moved away, their contact would be limited. This was simply part of the human condition and people did not fret over it.
Many would also argue that, in this time, people were more connected to the world rather than media representations of it. Presently, our communications and media devices inform a great deal of our realities. In fact, so much of our reality is derived from the media that we are no longer basing our personal realities on personal experiences as much as we are basing them on what the media exposes us to. This is dangerous for our psyches. We are best suited to our environment when we interact with it and learn from it directly rather than through a secondhand account.
In a nutshell, many people believe that it was simpler and healthier to live with less communication technology than we have today. They feel that it creates a sense of dependence that we did not used to have, not only in the form of separation anxiety from the people in our lives, but also from the separation anxiety we have developed for information and technology itself.