Comedians are life’s philosophers with punch lines. Following up on my three part series of posts about the trend towards rediscovering our humanity unmediated by technology, it was entertaining, moving and profound to hear Louis C. K. tell Conan O’Brien why his kids cannot have phones. As Louis C. K. observes, technology serves to diminish our capacity for empathy, as well as acting as an addictive distraction from the anxiety of being alone.
“We are left alone, without excuse.” Jean-Paul Sartre
Sadness is a poetic abstraction that, if we can face it is then met by the antidote of profound happiness. But if we are mediating our lonely, anxious solitude through technology, then we achieve no real understanding of our emotional breadth. Our smart phones are the dietary equivalent of carbohydrates: A short, brief hit with no real sustenance.