IS SOCIETY DEAD? By Andrew Sullivan
Andrew Sullivan Author is a British author, editor and blogger, resident in the United States. A former editor of The New Republic and the author or editor of six books, Sullivan is an influential blogger and commentator. Wikipedia
Nominations: GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Magazine Article, Lambda Literary Award for Gay Men’s Studies
In his essay, “Society Is Dead: We have retreated into the iWorld,” Andrew Sullivan depicts how people have deafened the interpersonal interactions around them with the presence of an iPod’s music.
Andrew Sullivan talks about how the apple products have taken control of his life. He compares church to and an apple store and makes the clerics seem like the priests waiting in their confessionals. He uses colorful examples to state how technology has taken over our lives pretty much in general which is true. He admits how he himself was addicted to the iPod and the apple products, but yet the dislike he had for the way that technology has had on society itself.
“Society without the social”
This is applicable to life itself since people now a-days do everything online now and rather live their life through a screen or a little electronic device that plays music for them, than rather go out into the real world and live things for themselves and have their own real experiences.
NOTE PREPARED BY TEACHERS
“IS SOCIETY DEAD?” is written by Andrew Michael Sullivan, a British author. This article is about ‘I-pod’ generation. He talks about how the ‘Apple products’ – modern technological devices have taken control of his life. He uses colourful examples to state how technology has taken over our lives.
It is written in the first person narrative and he talks about his experience while he is walking through the streets of New York. He could not believe about the changes happened to the city because he had already heard that New York is full of night-life. But here he could not find it.
The day life was also much quieter with mixtures of yells, chatter, hustle and rudeness.
Manhattan’s down town is a Disney like string of malls and middle class villages. He noticed something special in the town. There were white wires hanging down from their ears or tucked into pockets, purses or jackets. Each one was in his own shut asylum forgetting about the world around them. It is an I-pad world that he saw there. All are in their own cocoons. No sound is heard by them except their music. Even if someone says ‘excuse me’ or ‘hello’, there is no response. The author is also one among them. He is also having the white wires peeping out of his ears. He says that he started with a walkman, then a MP3 player and at last an I-pad won over him. Once it was a musical diversion for him. But now it has become a ‘compulsive obsession.’ now the attitude of the people is ‘don’t ask, don’t overhear, don’t observe – just tune in and tune out. ‘Technology has given us a universe entirely for ourselves because the entire world is in our finger tips. It has become a society without any social elements.
Earlier we had homes, retreats or places where we want to relax, where one could outlet emotions, unwind or shut out the world. But we did not walk around like hermit crabs.
Earlier music was limited to the living room and it was a shared experience that brought people together. But now music has become a personal secret.
The author is asking a question “what do we get from this?’ We get the chance to slip away from the monotony of the commute, to listen more closely and carefully to music that can lift you up and can keep you going. We miss many things in life – the funny conversations, the chatting sound of a child which may take us to our childhood, the songs, the laughter of others, etc. External stimulation can crowd out the interior mind. Even boredom has its uses. We are forced to find out our own methods to overcome this boredom.
In the last part he says that when he went for a trip, he left out his I-pod behind. Though he was panic for the first time, later he understood that he can enjoy the rhythms of others again; the sounds of airplane, the opinions of taxi drivers, etc. He wonderfully noticed how all are connected to each other.
He concludes his essay by opening a world around us. He admits how he himself was addicted to I-pod and the ‘apple products’ and the dislike he had for the way that technology has had on society itself.
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