As we progress with the latest technologies that have improved communication beyond all bounds over the last twenty years, there is a side effect that is becoming more and more problematic to our society in 2010 - the issue of human isolation. As more and more adults take jobs that allow them to work from home and more and more youngsters grow up in a world where all social interactions outside of school take place via the Internet with them sat at home in front of a computer.
I am going to look at how I believe that this so called 'communication revolution' has lead to isolation of individuals from today's society. Human beings are social animals and this solitary lifestyle can lead to undesirable effects such as loneliness or an inability to establish relationships, possibly even resulting in clinical depression[key-1].
If we look at two case studies that are typical of how a world with such superb communication technologies such as email and instant messaging, is affecting the lifestyles of the people in the UK today, we see the cracks in day-to-day situations where maybe being set free from the commuter rat race has had some radical consequences for that extremely social animal - the human being.
This revolution in communication technology has had a huge impact on today's workplace. As we can see in the first case study, companies investments in IT have negated the need for staff to be on site, by allowing them to work from home and communicate with colleagues via phone, email, or instant message and share any documents via ftp or sent as an email attachment. This has many benefits for the employee including not having to deal with the with commuting to work everyday saving not only time and money, but also the stress that the morning rush to work can cause[key-2]. It also allows for more of a home life and if the employee has family, they can spend more time with them benefiting not only the employee but also their family, and could remove the need for childcare if the children are young enough to need it. This technology could be seen to vastly increase the quality of life of the employee. No longer is the time when all workers of an industry would live and operate in a district of a city, much like Birmingham's own Jewellery Quarter, advances in technology have allowed for a decentralisation of the worker population, with the advances in technology of the last 20 years it has now become possible for the workforce to be located almost anywhere in the country, in a range of industries.
Although there are benefits in working from home, it also creates a barrier between the worker and his colleagues, and allows for situations where a team of people working closely on a project together can feel estranged through lack of physical social interactions. Studies have shown that working with friends can lead to an increase in productivity in the workplace[key-3].
Meanwhile school children are becoming more and more isolated from their...