T Nation

Society of Immediate (Computer-Based) Gratification

"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they allow disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children now are tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.â??

That’s a quote attributed to Socrates by Plato, although some may disagree. When someone whines about our current young generation, this quote is used as a rebuttal, as in, our young generation is not the worst ever because this is something that old people always say about young people.
But no other generation, ever, has grown with such amount of commodities and immediate gratification sources like today’s. I know that life in the corrupted decaying society of the western world still beats living in most underdeveloped countries (the amount of hungry people, even today, is way too high).

I don’t have Facebook or Twitter or anything similar, but I can’t deny that I’m addicted to internet and it’s becoming a disease, a subtle one that is draining my emotional energy and stopping me from enjoying some activities that I used to enjoy a lot more in the past.

It wasn’t like that a few years ago, but office work means 8 hours with some spare time, which means that I have to fill those voids with something…and that’s internet browsing. Googling something leads me to 10 different links…and these 10 links have hyperlinks with more things to read. Wikipedia? I start to read something in particular and end with 30 different links open of different topics. I’m actively seeking new things to read, new sources of dopamine. Newspapers, forums, etc. It’s a vice loop, a vicious circle. The more the best is fed, the hungrier it seems to be…

Not planning to make this thread about myself though, as I’m starting to take steps to stop this. And yes, I’m aware of the irony of talking about internet addiction and dopamine seeking while creating a thread in a forum and probably checking time to time for answers.

So I wonder how it is going to be in the future, with people very used to social media, to get their self-worth from likes, follows, comments or whatever. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think that 14 years old kids should have smartphones…

I won’t even get started with the posture issues that affect pretty much every single office worker. Shoulders rolled forward, uneven torso, winged scapula, hyperlordosis, kyphosis, head forward, etc.

So, do you think that at some point the health concerns will start to take over? That this will be a bubble that will inflate until it explodes and then we try to go back to some old times somehow?

I know that many GAL regulars are older than me and grew up away from computers, but what about the younger ones?

My biggest beef with children and the internet is that kids don’t know how to talk to people anymore. They feel much more comfortable sending a text or email when in reality, the only way big things get done are through face to face meetings with people. Success in life is all about selling your self, your idea, your product, whatever, and kids are becoming even less capable of even holding a conversation with people.

Not exactly related to your thread, but hey, I’m the first to respond.

LOL at the irony here.

I love the web for quick access to information that would previously take weeks to compile and digest.

Now if I could just find the operators manual for a Cole-Tuve ARS-6 angle bender.

I think that if 4000 years in the future or something all humans have given over all authority and power to computers and we all live in a make-believe computer world and we don’t toil or think for ourselves anymore that amybe we could see the barest hint of its beginnings in the 21st century.

I mean even something as small as students being unable to write cursively anymore because “Who really needs that anymore?” may be a sign of that.

Also, talking about “This generation sucks! Ours was better!” there is some validity to it, allow me to demonstrate:

I was born in 1973, so my ‘best’ years, like ages 17 to 21 were years 1990 to 1994. That was an OK time for movies, music and other parts of culture. It was pretty average in the events of the time though…history was sort of taking a break.
How smart were we? How well read and travelled? Even to make it closer to this site…how hard did we exercise?

So I can look back at a time before and think that guys from the generation before me were perhaps better read, smarter, more capable and handy, tougher in many ways and the kind that, again in relation to this message board, likely would exercise twice as hard as guys of my generation and not think much of it.

I don’t know how well I got my point across, but basically what I’m saying is that it is possible to look back a generation before yours and recognize its strengths.

[quote]Nards wrote:

I don’t know how well I got my point across, but basically what I’m saying is that it is possible to look back a generation before yours and recognize its strengths.

[/quote]

But is it possible to look at the generation after yours and recognize its strengths? Because since the beginning of time people have been bitching about the younger generations.

And I’m no exception. I have an 18 year old sister in law (I’m only 9 years older than her) that I can’t even converse with without wanting to strangle.

News report on findings of social media self esteem inflation… I think as a culture we are also addicted to having information literally handed to us on a silver platter… I have actually heard of some people having psychotic breaks from information overload spending too much time on the internet constantly searching new information like a drug… In short obviously moderation is everything.

And don’t try to inflate a sense of self from the internet, if almost everyone was not doing it then we could see how bizarre it really is.

quoted for truth…

"And when they found our shadows
Grouped around the TV sets
They ran down every lead
They repeated every test
They checked out all the data on their lists
And then the alien anthropologists
Admitted they were still perplexed
But on eliminating every other reason
For our sad demise
They logged the only explanation left

This species has amused itself to death"

[quote]LankyMofo wrote:

[quote]Nards wrote:

I don’t know how well I got my point across, but basically what I’m saying is that it is possible to look back a generation before yours and recognize its strengths.

[/quote]

But is it possible to look at the generation after yours and recognize its strengths? Because since the beginning of time people have been bitching about the younger generations.

And I’m no exception. I have an 18 year old sister in law (I’m only 9 years older than her) that I can’t even converse with without wanting to strangle. [/quote]

Ah, then let me put a finer point on it.
I think most all the males I’ve met under 25 are still pretty good, very little different from most young men going back as far as you like…it’s pretty much all females under 30 I don’t really want to interact with anymore.

I have to agree with what others are saying about females around my age, I’m 21. Actually, males do this same thing at my age. They tweet or post pictures of everything that happens to them. Like food they are about to eat, what they are doing now and in 2 hours. It is constant, most females my age are on their phone constantly texting someone or tweeting or posting something. Most of the time it is people seeking attention. Males do it to, but to a lesser extent. I used to have a twitter and Instagram for a few months but deleted them last summer. It just wasn’t for me. A perfect example is my sister who is 17, she literally tweets everything that happens to her, right when it happens. She is on her phone constantly, it is pathetic. That is just my opinion though.

[quote]stefan128 wrote:
I have to agree with what others are saying about females around my age, I’m 21. Actually, males do this same thing at my age. They tweet or post pictures of everything that happens to them. Like food they are about to eat, what they are doing now and in 2 hours. It is constant, most females my age are on their phone constantly texting someone or tweeting or posting something. Most of the time it is people seeking attention. Males do it to, but to a lesser extent. I used to have a twitter and Instagram for a few months but deleted them last summer. It just wasn’t for me. A perfect example is my sister who is 17, she literally tweets everything that happens to her, right when it happens. She is on her phone constantly, it is pathetic. That is just my opinion though.[/quote]

Agreed. I’m 23 and I would say that a little less than half of my friends have what I would consider to be an unhealthy attachment to their phone; they check it roughly every 5 minutes or so and use it for roughly 5-10 minutes every hour.

Personally, I think I use the internet (on my laptop) a little too much. I try to “purposefully” use it but often end up lazily browsing for a significant amount of time.

I think we all have been prone to a little too much technological indulgence at one time or the other… I am not saying society should regress but filling all these gaps of normal life and silence with mindless entertainment has to have some repercussions or dangers.

the coming “computer-based” society will not (only) be a society of the immediate.
Quite the opposite actually.

In a few decades, we will have to learn to live with our deads.
Their quasi-living memories will be everywhere on the Internet, with images, sounds, and in high resolution.

We will have to learn to live surrounded by all these digital ghosts.
And it will have huge cultural consequences. Albeit unespected and unpredictable ones.

Internet in an enormous collective mausoleum, but we do not realize it. Yet.

i love having a smartphone. it feels like having a cybernetic brain implant. i can look anything up at any time and i do. i dont facebook or play stupid games, so i have more inclination to use my phone intelligently

[quote]Edevus wrote:

I don’t have Facebook or Twitter or anything similar, but I can’t deny that I’m addicted to internet and it’s becoming a disease, a subtle one that is draining my emotional energy and stopping me from enjoying some activities that I used to enjoy a lot more in the past.

It wasn’t like that a few years ago, but office work means 8 hours with some spare time, which means that I have to fill those voids with something…and that’s internet browsing. Googling something leads me to 10 different links…and these 10 links have hyperlinks with more things to read. Wikipedia? I start to read something in particular and end with 30 different links open of different topics. I’m actively seeking new things to read, new sources of dopamine. Newspapers, forums, etc. It’s a vice loop, a vicious circle. The more the best is fed, the hungrier it seems to be…

Not planning to make this thread about myself though, as I’m starting to take steps to stop this. And yes, I’m aware of the irony of talking about internet addiction and dopamine seeking while creating a thread in a forum and probably checking time to time for answers.

I know that many GAL regulars are older than me and grew up away from computers, but what about the younger ones?
[/quote]

Dude, I have the same problem and you have literally described it WORD FOR WORD. Mine has been going on for about 4 yrs. At any one point there are, at the very least, over 100 tabs open on my Firefox and at least 20 open on my Opera Mini on my phone. The number of saved pages and bookmarks I’ve collected between computer and phone in that time is staggering. Same with newspapers, I collect like a weeks worth and put them in my room and I just HAVE to read them regardless of the other shit I need to do. If I don’t, they keep piling up and I’ll still have to read them.
But, I became aware of my problem around Jan-March last year and I’ve drastically cut down on my obsession with new info. However on occasion I still find myself zoning out and ‘‘relapsing’’ if you will.

[quote]stefan128 wrote:
I have to agree with what others are saying about females around my age, I’m 21. Actually, males do this same thing at my age. They tweet or post pictures of everything that happens to them. Like food they are about to eat, what they are doing now and in 2 hours. It is constant, most females my age are on their phone constantly texting someone or tweeting or posting something. Most of the time it is people seeking attention. Males do it to, but to a lesser extent. I used to have a twitter and Instagram for a few months but deleted them last summer. It just wasn’t for me. A perfect example is my sister who is 17, she literally tweets everything that happens to her, right when it happens. She is on her phone constantly, it is pathetic. That is just my opinion though.[/quote]

I’m 19 and I’ve seen it too among the females. It may sound like I’m exaggerating but I know girls my age or around it that are on Tumblr, Digg, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and to top it all off, they have a blog. The keypads on their phones are all worn out (like it just looks like buttons with no letters) and their laptops are never turned off. Always on ‘‘sleep’’ or ‘‘hibernate’’.

I think anyone who has fallen victim to the ‘‘suggested videos’’ on YouTube knows how it feels to plan on watching one vid and then 3hrs later you’re still there…

[quote]kamui wrote:
the coming “computer-based” society will not (only) be a society of the immediate.
Quite the opposite actually.

In a few decades, we will have to learn to live with our deads.
Their quasi-living memories will be everywhere on the Internet, with images, sounds, and in high resolution.

We will have to learn to live surrounded by all these digital ghosts.
And it will have huge cultural consequences. Albeit unespected and unpredictable ones.

Internet in an enormous collective mausoleum, but we do not realize it. Yet. [/quote]

I love this…it’s like poetry.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
I love the web for quick access to information that would previously take weeks to compile and digest.

Now if I could just find the operators manual for a Cole-Tuve ARS-6 angle bender.

[/quote]

That’s the best part of internet and the digital era. Pretty much everything that people have ever know through modern history is available and just a few clicks away. Sad thing is, people are still incredibly ignorant in general.

[quote]lumbahjack wrote:
Dude, I have the same problem and you have literally described it WORD FOR WORD. Mine has been going on for about 4 yrs. At any one point there are, at the very least, over 100 tabs open on my Firefox and at least 20 open on my Opera Mini on my phone. The number of saved pages and bookmarks I’ve collected between computer and phone in that time is staggering. Same with newspapers, I collect like a weeks worth and put them in my room and I just HAVE to read them regardless of the other shit I need to do. If I don’t, they keep piling up and I’ll still have to read them.
But, I became aware of my problem around Jan-March last year and I’ve drastically cut down on my obsession with new info. However on occasion I still find myself zoning out and ‘‘relapsing’’ if you will.

[/quote]

I posted this thread a week ago. Only today I got to read it again, so I guess it’s starting to work for me. The bookmarks part is so accurate! I actually have hundreds of them. I also have tons of e-mails that I’ve sent myself from work so I can get at home and bookmark it. Funny thing is, I don’t think I have checked around 99% of those bookmarks.

[quote]kamui wrote:
the coming “computer-based” society will not (only) be a society of the immediate.
Quite the opposite actually.

In a few decades, we will have to learn to live with our deads.
Their quasi-living memories will be everywhere on the Internet, with images, sounds, and in high resolution.

We will have to learn to live surrounded by all these digital ghosts.
And it will have huge cultural consequences. Albeit unespected and unpredictable ones.

Internet in an enormous collective mausoleum, but we do not realize it. Yet. [/quote]

I hadn’t thought about that and I certainly don’t like how it sounds…although in the other hand, it’d be interesting to just access a website and tell your grand-grandchildren : “Well, this was my mother and my father in that family dinner 100 years ago…”

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:
I think we all have been prone to a little too much technological indulgence at one time or the other… I am not saying society should regress but filling all these gaps of normal life and silence with mindless entertainment has to have some repercussions or dangers. [/quote]

Distracted people don’t cause troubles to governments or even think about it.

[quote]Edevus wrote:

Distracted people don’t cause troubles to governments or even think about it.

[/quote]

bingo

nobody cares how bad they’re getting fucked over as long as Survivor is on and they can check their tweets

[quote]Edevus wrote:

[quote]lumbahjack wrote:
Dude, I have the same problem and you have literally described it WORD FOR WORD. Mine has been going on for about 4 yrs. At any one point there are, at the very least, over 100 tabs open on my Firefox and at least 20 open on my Opera Mini on my phone. The number of saved pages and bookmarks I’ve collected between computer and phone in that time is staggering. Same with newspapers, I collect like a weeks worth and put them in my room and I just HAVE to read them regardless of the other shit I need to do. If I don’t, they keep piling up and I’ll still have to read them.
But, I became aware of my problem around Jan-March last year and I’ve drastically cut down on my obsession with new info. However on occasion I still find myself zoning out and ‘‘relapsing’’ if you will.

[/quote]

I posted this thread a week ago. Only today I got to read it again, so I guess it’s starting to work for me. The bookmarks part is so accurate! I actually have hundreds of them. I also have tons of e-mails that I’ve sent myself from work so I can get at home and bookmark it. Funny thing is, I don’t think I have checked around 99% of those bookmarks.

[/quote]

LOL, I’ve done that emailing thing too when I aint at my own computer. Usually I copy paste all the addresses I’m on onto notepad, save them with a date and put them on a flash. When I get home I copy paste them to my own comp. I can honestly say that I’ve done this alot but can’t remember having ever opened those notepad docs. I think I’m an e-hoarder.