Are we becoming desensitized humans because of our attachments to digital outlets? Do we think that because we are so connected digitally that we have no need to be connected in other ways?
Two things have brought this to my attention. The other day my daughter was riding her bike in Portland when she swerved to avoid a construction site that had spilled out into the street, causing her to crash and hurt herself on train tracks. What was so unusual was that there was a man standing three feet from her putting coins in a meter and he didn't even look up. The construction guys laughed and didn't help her up in any way, nor did they ask her if she was alright as she limped by.
The second incident involved a family member willing to cut off two siblings over a slight that was mostly imagined on her part - certainly not something that was intentional on the part of the two siblings.
What is happening here? My daughter feels the men that watched her crash are digitally desensitized. They watch things crash and get hurt through video games, television shows, etc, and it requires a passive response. Have our brains been rewired to not respond when something is happening in real time? Do family members not feel a connection to other family members because their lives are so full of being busy that people that care about them no longer matter?
Our minds are funny things - they tend to gravitate to what is familiar - regardless of whether it is the right thing to do. If passive or irritated reactions to a world that is picking up speed is the accustomed response, then that's where it will go automatically.
For my part, I've noticed a need to disconnect from my blog a bit because of this very issue. Instead of making an effort with friends, it was much easier to communicate on my blog. Admittedly, my blogging friends tend to think more like myself, but that should not stop me from committing time and energy to enjoying others - despite our increasing differences. We learn from differences. We learn tolerance, we learn to care about others besides ourselves, and we learn that flesh and blood hurts when it falls.