Out of The Hat

Making the Ordinary, Extraordinary

The Crystal Trap


A lot of people out there say that technology will be the doom of us all. They look to social media as the death of true socialization, and instant access to any news source or opinion to the end of true free and collaborative thought.

I disagree.

While many individuals have fallen into the ‘crystal trap’, where they surround themselves with their own opinions, only to have them magnified; some have chosen to break out of their comfort zone. While it may be necessary in the workplace and for academia to research opposing opinions, many seek them out for the sake of knowledge.

These individuals feel that a different opinion is valid for shaping and refining their own, so they can have a firmer understanding of the controversy and their stance. This sort of reaction is still valued in modern society, and is even considered essential for public speakers, debaters, and various figureheads to be knowledgeable in.

Not only are the inner feelings and spoken word dependent on knowledge of ‘the other side,’ but many of those same internet sources are as well. Journalism and news sites gain their respect by representing and refuting an opposing viewpoint, including more formally respectable blogs.fantasy-crystal2

Aside from matters of opinion, often the best resources to learn of and refine opinions are other humans. Just as French salons led to the Enlightenment Movement face-to-face conversations are still the best battle ground to hammer out a meeting of minds. There are some things that technology cannot replace, and that is one of them.

There are still public political and competition debates, where the aim is to ‘beat’ an opponent’s opinion. These do, coincidentally, take place live. However, privet conversations between friends and family take place with the intention of finding understanding. No one is expected to win in these meetings, but rather to understand why the participants feel as they do. They also get the opportunity to find others who agree with them and their opinions.

I know my opinion is skewed, as I am writing on my blog at this very second. But I feel that it is important to allow for realism, and say that the apparent decline in socializing is a choice, not an inevitable effect. Though it does seem that people are less inclined to chat as they wait in lines, and unlikely to speak to class mates when a phone is less intimidating, I don`t think this is a direct result of technology. I think that the spread of paranoia, seen everywhere from compulsive Germ- X users to the odd phenomena of country dwelling folk that lock their doors during the day, may be to blame. I think that the diminishing size of our forests and woodlands may be contributors. I think a lot of things are going into this problem.

Just as opinions need not be isolated because we have the ability to do so, the same is true for humanity. It is a choice to ignore strangers, to turn your cell on and tap away at your games. It is a choice to set up social meetings with friends, only to ignore them because you have to text your friend that couldn`t make it about the latest social disaster. And when you meet up with that friend for coffee tomorrow, it will be your choice to ignore her so you can text the friends you ignored today!

Life is full of choices, and distractions. It is easy to play the blame game, but very hard to try to bring about any reforms in your own life.

If you have an opinion on the matter, please share. I`d especially love it if you disagreed with me, or thought there was an argument to my flaws! It would really support my point, in a way.

Also, sorry for the formal wording, but I`m also working on part of this for a Composition I essay. I`d call this a soft draft, somewhere between brainstorming and their very rough drafts and the final stage. Please give me feedback on the writing style, if not the content itself.

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4 comments on “The Crystal Trap

  1. djdfr
    March 6, 2013

    The style at the beginning made me want to skim rather than really read.

    “Life is full of choices, and distractions. It is easy to play the blame game, but very hard to try to bring about any reforms in your own life.” Rather than very hard to bring about reforms, my personal feeling is that changing is the only way forward and we can do it if we have the will. Our Creator is counting on us to change ourselves and thus change the world. He says 4 generations will not be enough so we must not lose hope, but keep plugging forward.

    • TheGreatZambini
      March 7, 2013

      Thanks for letting me know! I guess I`m going to do some serious editing on the hook. I wouldn`t want that to be boring, as I`m pretty sure professors just give you a bad grade if the beginning is bad, and skip reading the rest. Actually, one of them has said that to me, so I know it is true for at least some of them! Thanks for the feedback again.

  2. jonathanochart
    March 6, 2013

    I disagree, too – and not just because I’m studying journalism! I find social media helps me socialize even more, whether keeping in contact with high school and old friends, to learning more about upcoming local events where I can socialize in person. I always enjoy your philosophical posts – keep up the good work (;

    -Jonathan

    • TheGreatZambini
      March 7, 2013

      Thanks for the feedback! I always feel the same about it being a tool to help me get to actually socializing too. I find out about local clubs and teams on meetup, and parties and meetings on Facebook, so I think it helps me be more social too. I love finding people who agree with me :)

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This entry was posted on March 6, 2013 by in [ ] Editorial and tagged , , , , , .

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