Sociology reach out and touch the computer screen



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SociologyJuly 10, 2000SILENT VOICEWhen I read the chapter on The De-Voicing of Society, I have to say that I was not surprised. I saw this coming back in the 1960s. But Inever really believed that as we grew and evolved that it would escalate to the point where people would become obsolete in many areas. Certainly wehave advanced greatly in technology, but I think that we may have gone to far. People must never be replaced by machines. I have always had a voice,but just didnt use it when at critical periods of my life.

I advocate free speech at every turn. Machines should enhance it, but certainty not replace our right to use our collective voices. If we can advance in technology, then we must advance as humans right along with it, and not allow ourselves to be a faceless, voiceless being.

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We must never ever depersonalize ourselves from society. In recent times, andusing my own experience , I can now look back and understand just how isolated one can become when one is locked away in a cubicle or a roomfor years at a time, using only a television or radio as a source of human voice. Or using a phone for that much needed contact.My reaction to our silenced voices it that of genuine concern.Every human being needs personal contact. We are not meant to live a lifeof isolation. I suppose if we choose to do that on our own accord, while not healthy, it is our choice.

However, when technology gets to the point wherewe are being replaced by machines, then I for one have a problem with it. If I had to equate a silent voice, then I would start with my own life. The lasttwo years of my marriage, I had totally isolated myself from any human source. Not because I wanted to, but because it was a means to survive. Iwas so isolated. The only voices I heard was from the television or the radio and sometimes the phone.

Sometimes calling an eight hundred number just to hear another living breathing person.It was during this time, that I purchased a computer. Which ultimately became my life line. While I could not hear the voice of those I chatted with, there came a time when I for some unexplainable reasonbecame very close to someone, and would actually reach out and touch the computer screen at the same time he did. Neither of us know what it would’serve, but both of us knew that our isolation had to end. We both realized the need for human contact. Conversation, laughter.

I might have gone on to look back at this and laugh and think how stupid how naive we both were. But that never happened. Our isolation from humans came to us because we had been hurt by others. Yet both of us were still human andboth very vulnerable. Today we are both very dear friends, and we often remind each other that via this media, it showed us that even through thewritten word we could communicate, but we needed to hear the voice of another. We both recognized the world had changed so much.Writing then became paramount to me. It enabled me to see things that perhaps I never would have before.

The Internet was a God send for me, and a definite life line to so many others that I have sincegotten to know and have helped. Today all of us have moved beyond that time in our lives, and none of us is isolated at least from ourselves. Wevowed to be vocal and not be silenced for any reason. Through my experience with this, I have come to know and understand that while we have advanced in so many areas from the time we were babies, we have lost the all important thing. Togetherness.I dont need to live in anyones pocket and surely there comes a time when we want our quiet moments to reflect, yet I will always want tohear a voice.

I wont let a day go by without expression of my thoughts. Making the decision to return to school, has enabled me to talk aloudeveryday. While I may not be