Grant Howell and Adam Rathjen
"The Pedestrian" by Ray Bradbury
"Touchscreen" by Marshall Davis Jones
"Technology Imposes Social Isolation" by Andrew Lutfala
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Technology isolates people when face to face communication isn't necessary.
In "The Pedestrian", by Ray Bradbury, a man is out on a walk alone in some time in the future. The technology of this new age has engulfed the society, so that nobody ever wants to leave their houses to socialize physically or enjoy the environment around them. "Touchscreen", by Marshall Davis Jones, discusses these topics already becoming major issues in our present, seclusive society. He discusses how people have become so enthralled in their online identities that they have forgotten and rejected the idea of interacting with a physical human being. Social media and other forms of communication have become a person's identity in this age. The number of friends a person has, the popularity, the communication skills, all depend on an online profile. According to both of these works, technology "advances" are causing negative communicative effects and not allowing people to interact in a proper and healthy way. As spoken about in "Technology Imposes Social Isolation", society is actually retreating in its advances in communication as technological advances increase. Andrew Lutfala uses the example of "Siri", which is an automated voice assistant on the new iPhones, to show how voice communication with living people is decreasing. Texting and social media have brought an almost end to the need to communicate face to face, or even voice to voice as Lutfala explains in his article.
This social isolation was a major theme throughout Fahrenheit 451. Mildred was an excellent example of this theme in many situations. As described in the novel, "every night the waves came in and bore her off" when she put her seashell radio in her ears (11). She had become accustomed to blurring the rest of the world and completely shutting it out. Warnings of these occurrences are displayed in "The Pedestrian", "Touchscreen", and "Technology Imposes Social Isolation". In the article, it warns about how more communication advances require less and less physical interaction with the person that is being communicated with like when Mildred listens to her radios, she is getting the only information she needs from these radios. "Touchscreen" discusses the reality of people finding their identities in online profiles, and Mildred in Fahrenheit 451 has found her identity in her seashell headphones and "the Family" on the television. Lastly, "The Pedestrian" almost directly relates to the novel when Montag is running through the streets in order to escape being arrested. The authorities use the tactic of telling everyone on any technological device to get up and go to the windows or doors to look for "the only man running alone in the night city"(132). Social isolation is clearly made present throughout each of these works as a pitfall for rising societies.