Does Technology Isolate Us or Unite Us?

Chris Pirillo

by Chris Pirillo

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Technology is constantly changing the world around us. One of the great philosophical debates of every age is whether technological progress is a benefit to humanity or the bane of our existence. Does technology bring us together as a larger world society or isolate us in our own pixelated ivory towers? Connecting with other people via IM, email, Twitter, Facebook, or any of the other places people communicate online provides the opportunity for geographically distant people to connect and interact. It also makes it easier for people who live close together to share their travels and experiences on a more continuous basis.

Technology allows people who want to find people more like themselves to congregate when their shared interest might not be widely held within their own real world community. Whether this is for discussion of a collectible toy, a religious belief, or an obsession with a favorite sports team, being able to join others who believe as you do can be liberating.

Technology provides the power to divide us with many of the same tools we unite with. When people hear disagreement with thier world view online, they frequently lash out in anger. Trolls in comments often fit this profile of the angry outsider who is using technology to vent their frustrations and fears openly in the wider community.