Disconnected in an Interconnected World Danielle Searle In a world filled with interactivity and interconnectedness, how is it possible to be so disconnected from the people who live the closest you? Peter Lovenheim’s article, “Won’t you be my Neighbor,” discusses this very ideal. After a terrible murder-suicide occurred in Lovenheim’s neighbor he was forced to asked him-self do I really know who lives next me? Lovenheim realized he didn’t and decided to something about it. He decided he was going to sleepover neighbor’s homes in order to get to know them better.
What Lovenheim should have taken into account is that, not everyone cares to “connect,” with his or her neighbors; others may simply just not have the time. And finally with the technology today, our “neighborhood” has grown to be more then the surrounding blocks near our home. Since when does living next door to someone automatically mean they have to be involved in your life? Lovenheim claims that, “Property lines isolate us from the people we are physically closets” to: our neighbors. (Lovenheim, 2008) When in reality it’s people that isolate themselves from other people.
We all have freedom of choice. Just because you share an address, doesn’t mean you have anything in common with your neighbors. Starting a relationship with a person just because they live next door, is almost as idiotic as befriending someone just because they have a lot of money. Time is a huge factoring in life. People have to choose how much time to spend on different aspects of their lives based on priority, so sometimes time to make friends with neighbors is probably extremely low.
Lovenheim asks, “ Why is it that in an age of cheap long-distance rates, discount count airlines, and the Internet we often don’t know the people who live next door. ” (Lovenheim, 2008) The answer to that question is that people are busy. For example a full time student, who also works, might not have a lot of time to get chummy with her neighbors. Or even a doctor who works the night shift at the hospital, or a new mom that’s focused on her newborn. Lastly, back in the day, your neighbors may have been important people in your life because they were all you knew.
Most women stayed at home, so befriending neighbors wasn’t so shocking. Therefore it makes sense that in the 1950s neighborhood ties were way stronger. (Lovenheim, 2008) Today, with most men and women working there is even less likely of chance to get to know your neighbors. But, advances technologies has allowed us to extend our communities to further then just by our house. The Internet lets us keep in contact with friends and family that live far away. Social media allows people to know what going on with each other at all times.
Even travel is easier with public transportation, cars, and planes allowing you to travel to almost anywhere. While it is possible to be isolated from the people who live the closets to you, what really matters is whether you choose to isolate yourself or not. With technology nowadays they is no reason to be disconnected from people; use your freedom on choice to “connect” with the people that matter most in your life. Use your time wisely and be open to extending your community with this new-wired world.
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