There's an App for that...

2

Comments

  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Again - I think technology plays its part in iatrogenic mortality, I just can't say and the study doesn't give us a clue. I think the fragmentation of information as it relates to patient care is in part the result of poorly applied technology.
    If technology makes those things worse, then it is technology to blame. If poor implementation makes it worse, it is the same systemic issues that made them a problem before technology existed. The fragmentation of information is definitely an implementation issue. The dissemination of information is something technology can definitely do better than manual transfer.

    All of these are assumptions.

    As one poster upthread mentioned, technology creates the conditions we live in.

    If we are not adapting well to the pace and pressures that it brings, it doesn't necessarily follow that the same problems existed before technology, and are simply amplified by it.

    The fragmentation of information may not have been a problem before - there's no way of testing your statement.

    Again ... every one of these statements bears examination on its own as its own premise for argument and I still disagree with your original assertion.

    But, OK. We're clearly on different pages here. You're invested in the idea that technology makes medicine better, and I'm not. No big.

    AFF

  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    edited December 2018
    Clearly technology can make medicine better. Obvious examples include continuous remote monitoring of cardiomyopathy patients, real time self-monitoring of blood glucose levels for diabetes patients, remote surgery, laparascopic surgery, microsurgery, remote diagnosis, instant access to patient's medical records for A&E admissions etc. etc. Technology is a bigger field than apps for smartphones

    On the other hand it can't be relied on to avoid the consequences of human error by medics, patients or the designers of the technology - though even there, technology can sometimes be designed to prevent typical human failings.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Surely, in general, it's how you use it. I got myself an Apple watch last year, to keep track of my heart rate, as I was unwell with postural tachycardia and felt I had no idea what was going on with my body or how to manage it. With the watch and associated apps, I was able to see what things made my heart rate higher, and what lowered it, and experiment a bit. I was able to see when it was getting worse and rest before it got even worse. I learnt to get a sense within my body of what various heart rates felt like. I was able to observe what effects different meds had on my heart rate. Over time, I was able to manage my symptoms much better, and I no longer wear the watch every day.

    So, for me personally, that app was incredibly helpful for managing my health. But on the FB groups I'm in for people with the same condition, sometimes people will post 'I'm thinking of getting a watch that tracks my heart rate. Does it help?' and many people post 'No, I got one, and it just made me obsessed, always checking it, and always feeling miserable because of seeing how high my heart rate gets.'

    So for them it wasn't useful, because they were simply using it to look at data, to see proof of how unwell they were, rather than use the data in a helpful way. You need a plan of how you are going to use an app. If you are just getting it to look passively at figures, charts and graphs, of course it's pointless. But that's the same with anything, not just apps. You need to work out what it can do for you and how you will use it. Like the joke about the person who gets a fitness app and complains it hasn't made them lose weight, thought they've had it turned on the entire time they were sitting on the sofa eating chocolate!
  • lilbuddha wrote: »
    Again - I think technology plays its part in iatrogenic mortality, I just can't say and the study doesn't give us a clue. I think the fragmentation of information as it relates to patient care is in part the result of poorly applied technology.
    If technology makes those things worse, then it is technology to blame. If poor implementation makes it worse, it is the same systemic issues that made them a problem before technology existed. The fragmentation of information is definitely an implementation issue. The dissemination of information is something technology can definitely do better than manual transfer.

    All of these are assumptions.
    Not exactly. Whilst I do not work in the medical field, some of what I do/have done involves information transmission and coordination. And technology. properly implemented, makes this soo much better. Problems occur most often through implementation. There is a secondary problem on the reliance on technology and when it fails not being able to quickly cope.
    If we are not adapting well to the pace and pressures that it brings, it doesn't necessarily follow that the same problems existed before technology, and are simply amplified by it.
    But all the probelms you and I were speaking of do exist without technology.
    The fragmentation of information may not have been a problem before - there's no way of testing your statement.
    It certainly was a problem before. This doctor or hospital had records that the other doctor or hospital didn't. The only way to transfer that information was manually. Now, the technology exists to share it instantaneously and seamlessly. If this is not done, it is the fault of the implementation, not the technology.

    You're invested in the idea that technology makes medicine better, and I'm not. No big.
    [/quote]I'm not invested in the idea, but cognizant of the reality. BroJames' post can answer to why.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    BroJames wrote: »
    Technology is a bigger field than apps for smartphones
    Though, it isn't one or the other. Medical apps often interface with hospital computer systems to allow monitoring by medical staff in a real-time, non-contact way.
    On the other hand it can't be relied on to avoid the consequences of human error by medics, patients or the designers of the technology - though even there, technology can sometimes be designed to prevent typical human failings.
    As the saying goes, the problem is often between the seat and the steering wheel. Technology is a tool. And like any tool, it must be properly designed and used to be completely effective.

  • fineline wrote: »
    Surely, in general, it's how you use it. I got myself an Apple watch last year, to keep track of my heart rate, as I was unwell with postural tachycardia and felt I had no idea what was going on with my body or how to manage it. With the watch and associated apps, I was able to see what things made my heart rate higher, and what lowered it, and experiment a bit. I was able to see when it was getting worse and rest before it got even worse. I learnt to get a sense within my body of what various heart rates felt like. I was able to observe what effects different meds had on my heart rate. Over time, I was able to manage my symptoms much better, and I no longer wear the watch every day.
    I know a person with an irregular heart beat. Her pulse oximeter is useless because it takes too small a sample of heart rate.* So knowing how a device works helps as well.
    Like the joke about the person who gets a fitness app and complains it hasn't made them lose weight, thought they've had it turned on the entire time they were sitting on the sofa eating chocolate!
    How very dare you imply The Chocolate is fattening!

    *Many devices take a sample of a few seconds and then multiply it out over time to get an Beats Per Minute rating
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Surely, in general, it's how you use it. I got myself an Apple watch last year, to keep track of my heart rate, as I was unwell with postural tachycardia and felt I had no idea what was going on with my body or how to manage it. With the watch and associated apps, I was able to see what things made my heart rate higher, and what lowered it, and experiment a bit. I was able to see when it was getting worse and rest before it got even worse. I learnt to get a sense within my body of what various heart rates felt like. I was able to observe what effects different meds had on my heart rate. Over time, I was able to manage my symptoms much better, and I no longer wear the watch every day.
    I know a person with an irregular heart beat. Her pulse oximeter is useless because it takes too small a sample of heart rate.* So knowing how a device works helps as well.

    I'm not really sure the point you're making. I am not using a pulse oximeter. My watch measures my pulse rate, not oxygen saturation.

    I do have an irregular heartbeat, and the Apple watch is helpful for me. When I wear the watch, I normally have it constantly measuring. And even when it's only measuring for a shortish period of time every ten minutes (or is it every half hour? I don't use that option enough to know), it measures for quite a few beats. And there is a huge difference from when my heart rate is around 50 beats a minute and when it's around 170 beats a minute, even accounting for irregularities. I know when I'm experiencing tachycardia - it is still tachycardia, regardless of the fact it's irregular. It doesn't suddenly drop to 50 beats a minute from 170, even with irregularities and ectopic beats.

    Oh, I see your asterisk thing now, and yes, apps do give you an average heart rate, but in general that's pointless in itself if you are monitoring tachycardia episodes, whether or not your heart rate is irregular. And they do more than simply give an average, even the simplest, most basic app does more than that. They show you your current heartrate in real time (which is most helpful for me - if you keep looking, it refreshes when it measures again), they give a list of all the heart rates measured with times, they give you graphs, etc.

    I do of course see a specialist consultant at the hospital, and I talked to him about it, so I'm not just going into it blind. As I say, it's about how you use it. That naturally involves talking to doctors and such and being aware of your condition and how the technology works and its limitations. Technology doesn't replace medical care under doctors - it complements it, so you can manage your own health from day to day. My doctor himself said it was helpful, and in some ways more helpful than the heart monitor thing you have taped to your body for seven days (which I've also had done a couple of times) because with the watch you can see what is going on yourself in real time. Plus it doesn't make your skin red and painful and swollen like the tabs with the heart monitors do.

    I don't really get the need to put down technology in general. It's enabled us to make huge leaps and strides - think of the difference brain imaging technology has made for understanding conditions like dementia, stroke, autism, etc. And the difference AAC makes for people with communication difficulties. Yes, technology can be abused or used unwisely, but how different is that from anything in life (including chocolate! :wink: )?
  • Medical records -

    My file was nine inches thick. I’ve had geanacological plumbing problems since I was a young teenager.

    I went in for a hysterectomy, aged 50, and the surgeon came rushing to me at the last minute carrying my x-ray! He asked me what something which showed up on the x-ray may be. They were the ‘clips’ from a previous op. Yes the op was in my notes - somewhere!

    Electronic records would’ve been much easier to glance through without missing such a crucial thing imo.
  • edited December 2018
    Apple watch. Is it:
    -sending your medical data to Apple or an app developer and are they sharing the info with any other apps or companies?
    -does it track your location?
    -does it connect to any other device, either networked or cellular?
    -was it bought with a credit or debit card, and do you access the website or use an app from from the bank or credit company on a device that the Apple watch also links to?
    -if it sends info to a doc, clinic or hospital, what links to data aggregation and other data gathering programs does it link with?


    You know that you can be personally identified as you via your heart beat right? Would they know what store and where within the store you are, where you drive, what part of home is your bedroom and kitchen and toilet etc etc etc
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Apple watch. Is it:
    -sending your medical data to Apple or an app developer and are they sharing the info with any other apps or companies?
    -does it track your location?
    -does it connect to any other device, either networked or cellular?
    -was it bought with a credit or debit card, and do you access the website or use an app from from the bank or credit company on a device that the Apple watch also links to?
    -if it sends info to a doc, clinic or hospital, what links to data aggregation and other data gathering programs does it link with?


    You know that you can be personally identified as you via your heart beat right? Would they know what store and where within the store you are, where you drive, what part of home is your bedroom and kitchen and toilet etc etc etc

    Yes, Apple knows my heart rate, my address, and what store I bought it from. I don't drive. Not sure what use this info will be to them, and I'm not sure worrying about such things is helpful. I have gone from being mostly in bed, unwell, exhausted and blacking out when I tried to walk anywhere, to having some energy and enthusiasm, being able to walk places without blacking out. I'm happy about this, and if they decide to do something sinister with my details, and with the details of everyone else who buys their products, there's not a lot I can do about it. But fearmongering isn't going to help.

  • Viscerally, I hate the whole phenomenon. It seems to me to remove our reliance on each other, and foster this toxic nirvana of individualist, consumer perfection to which having the right things, including the right gadgets with the right apps, gives one access.

    I can hear the outrage of the people who have benefitted in particular ways from here, and appreciate that other, more extra-ordinary, ways of helping them would have needed to be found if the smartphone hadn't existed, but the learned dependency on a class of devices ultimately manufactured by a very small number of companies in a country which is dubious on many grounds, especially human rights and, in various parts, environmental protection, strikes me as a shaky basis on which to build human society. We seem to me to be far too willing to give our agency away to gain convenience.
  • .... We seem to me to be far too willing to give our agency away to gain convenience.

    I love Gibran on this:

    And tell me, people of OrphaIese, what have you in these houses? And what is it you guard with fastened doors?
    Have you peace, the quiet urge that reveals your power?
    Have you remembrances, the glimmering arches that span the summits of the mind?
    Have you beauty, that leads the heart from things fashioned of wood and stone to the holy mountain?
    Tell me, have you these in your houses?
    Or have you only comfort, and the lust for comfort, that stealthy thing that enters the house a guest, and then becomes a host and then a master?


    Ay, and it becomes a tamer, and with hook and scourge makes puppets of your larger desires.
    Though its hands are silken, its heart is of iron.
    It lulls you to sleep only to stand by your bed and jeer at the dignity of the flesh.
    It makes mock of your sound senses, and lays them in thistledown like fragile vessels.
    Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.

    AFF

  • I choose not to have a mobile phone as I have bipolar disorder and really need my space. However, I do own a fitness tracker which I use with my iPad and it has changed my life. I had a health scare a year ago due to obesity and have used the tracker to monitor my fitness as part of my weight loss. I have lost 20% of my body weight, most of it over just a 6 month period and wouldn’t be without my tracker. It has changed my life.
    As for the monitoring, like fineline, I know the score.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Maybe I'm a bit of an outlier, but for me, technology has helped a lot with connection with other people, rather than isolating me from them. And yes, it has made me more independent, which maybe you appreciate more when you have difficulties functioning in the world. I'm not sure that wanting to be confident going out alone is something terribly individualistic, but more something that most people take for granted, so it may be hard for such people to see how freeing technology can be.

    Another example of technology that occurs to me is wheelchairs and accessibility. In the past, people who couldn't walk generally didn't get out and about, but would stay in their homes, often in the same room. And yes, they were more dependent on people looking after them, but I'm not sure that this is something to be aiming for in itself. Wheelchairs and accessibility stuff, like lifts, is a move towards equal opportunities, providing to wheelchair users the freedoms able-bodied people take for granted. I see that as a positive thing. It doesn't replace people helping people out, but gives people a bit more freedom and independence.

    I would add that pointing out the positives of technology isn't outrage. I'm not outraged. I'm very aware lots of people think technology is a terrible plague on society. I disagree, and this is Purgatory, where we debate, so I am expressing my disagreement.
  • Every now and then I think the time has come for me to upgrade to a so-called “smart phone” -- as many have noted it can be useful and helpful, and as annoying as the land line phone can be at times. But then I consider the costs: purchasing the darn thing is a rather big expense, and then the cost for even simple coverage and a few useful apps establishes a whole new category into the monthly budget. And while in many other areas of technology more users drives down costs, it seems here that the costs only increase. Hubby and I recently switched from a non-smart cell phone plan that had increased to $70 per month, to a new carrier for equal non-smart coverage for $30 the month. The new phone charge was a simple $15. For us it comes down to connectivity and annoyance vs. turning the heat up a bit or splurging on a decent bottle of gin…..
  • Mine's about £15 a month for unlimited calls and texts and 4GB data. Entry level phone though; always has been.

    As for annoyance, people can only call you if you give them your number. Fortunately most of my friends are like me in prefering text mediums to speech so we generally communicate that way so I get very few calls.

    I have a lot of friends who I know only through social media; some of them have health issues which would make them very isolated otherwise; others, like me, find face to face interaction hard work.

    It's made my life a lot better. I only hesitated for a while on getting a smartphone because I find touch keyboards a bit fiddly but like the guitar fretboard I've learnt my way around it.

    Mrs Backslider is out today on a works do. She has her phone on her. This helps me cope with my anxiety.

    It's good. I have enough hassles without including the ones I have ameliorated through tech.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    Mine's about £15 a month for unlimited calls and texts and 4GB data. Entry level phone though; always has been.

    So's mine. The trick is to buy the phone outright, and then get a SIM-only deal.

    Monthly packages where monthly instalments for buying the phone are bundled together with charges for the use of the phone are basically usury and scams. I think Martin Lewis estimated that on a SIM-only deal, even if you buy the phone on your credit card and take 24 months to pay it off, you will still be saving money compared to a phone+SIM deal. And that's before the outright daylight robbery that happens if you get to the end of the 24 months and don't contact them to say what you want to do next.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    My phone came with that rate, believe it or not.
    Whatever Martin Lewis may have calculated, my difficulty is keeping a phone alive long enough to last to the point where you get a free upgrade. I drop the things all the time.
  • I teach with the Open University and technology has completely changed our work; emails are a easy way to get hold of people, essays are submitted online so don’t get lost in the post, I mostly teach in an online room and can record tutorials, materials are accessible online and in a variety of formats. 18% of our students have a declared disability and a lot of them have mental health problems which can make traditional universities difficult to cope with. It is obviously easier for me as a tutor with bipolar disorder too as I can manage my time and social interaction; even chatty manics like me get social anxiety.
    It’s not for everyone, some people will struggle in this environment. But a lot of my students are working class shift workers with families and the online environment is far easier for them.
    I administrated a baby board when my children were young and the friends I met there have stayed with me, we chat on Facebook and exchange secret Santas still.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    Yes, Apple knows my heart rate, my address, and what store I bought it from. I don't drive. Not sure what use this info will be to them, and I'm not sure worrying about such things is helpful.
    Not having to worry about this is a privilege.
  • Viscerally, I hate the whole phenomenon. It seems to me to remove our reliance on each other, and foster this toxic nirvana of individualist, consumer perfection

    I really don't think smartphones were the point at which that particular Fall occurred. Yes, it's comforting to believe that before people found things via smartphone, there was a rich and thick community which provided all those things - but the reality was far from that, prior to navigation devices, the easiest way to find how little people knew about their local area was to ask them for directions. Similarly, I was actually the teenager who asked the local librarian for reading recommendations on subjects I was interested in - I would rather have both, but if I had to choose I'd opt reluctantly for the world of search engines instead.
    Learned dependency on a class of devices ultimately manufactured by a very small number of companies in a country which is dubious on many grounds, especially human rights and, in various parts, environmental protection, strikes me as a shaky basis on which to build human society.

    I think if 'learned dependencies on a class of devices is a shaky basis for building society' (which I would agree with to an extent), then again that particular Fall occurred way before smartphones.
    We seem to me to be far too willing to give our agency away to gain convenience.

    I'd agree with that - but given that we aren't able to turn the world back, I'd rather we learnt to exegete the technologies we end up having to live with
  • really don't think smartphones were the point at which that particular Fall occurred. Yes, it's comforting to believe that before people found things via smartphone, there was a rich and thick community which provided all those things - but the reality was far from that, prior to navigation devices, the easiest way to find how little people knew about their local area was to ask them for directions.
    OMG I have played tourguide to locals in their own cities! It isn't just roads, but what is on them that people don't know, but also what is on them.

  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Having GPS has changed my life. I have a terrible sense of direction, and before GPS, the amount of extra time I had to set aside every time I drove somewhere I'd never been before was astounding. No matter how much I studied the map and how carefully I planned the route, I was so likely to get lost that I just planned on it. Now I don't have to factor in all that time. Now I don't have to worry I'll still be late. Now I don't show up late, sweating with anxiety because I got turned around and got lost and it took me 20 minutes just to figure out where I was. Now I punch in the address, look at the route, allow a little extra time because LA County traffic is a bitch, and follow the directions as they're given -- and I calmly arrive on time.

    I had a reminder of this just last weekend. I was supposed to meet someone at a chain coffee place in a nearby city that I don't know at all, and I goofed and chose the wrong outlet of that chain when I selected my destination on Google Maps -- turns out there are at least four on that one major boulevard. So I was late and lost, and then sweaty and anxious -- gah. And then I remembered, I used to have that happen all the time, and this was the first time in four years that I've felt that way.

    I don't give a flying fuck if Google knows everywhere I've been for the last four years, because that's the only way I have had any idea everywhere I've been.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    LeRoc wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    Yes, Apple knows my heart rate, my address, and what store I bought it from. I don't drive. Not sure what use this info will be to them, and I'm not sure worrying about such things is helpful.
    Not having to worry about this is a privilege.

    I don’t know if I have anything to worry about. Maybe I do. Maybe I do regardless of owning an Apple watch, because I use Facebook and gmail and the internet in general. No one knows what is going to be done with all the info gleaned. Worrying about what I don’t know isn’t going to help me though. I am of course a mix of privileges and non-privileges. As are we all here on SofF, I imagine. Should I therefore be frowned upon for having benefitted, healthwise, from an Apple watch? Is this what you mean? I’m not really sure what your point is.

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Ruth wrote: »
    I don't give a flying fuck if Google knows everywhere I've been for the last four years, because that's the only way I have had any idea everywhere I've been.

    Ha, yes, this is exactly how I feel. Google maps has been life-changing for me in the same way. As have other apps that have helped me organised and keep track of things I couldn’t otherwise do.

    Maybe my not giving a flying fuck is a privilege, as LeRoc suggests. Or maybe it’s stupidity. I don’t know. But equally, having a sense of direction is a privilege, having executive functioning skills is a privilege. And when you don’t have privileges that others take for granted, you are grateful for technology that gives you a hand with your everyday living, so you are able to function better. Realistically, most decisions one makes are trade-offs, and whether the benefits outweigh the costs is different for each person.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    @Ruth said -
    I don't give a flying fuck if Google knows everywhere I've been for the last four years, because that's the only way I have had any idea everywhere I've been.

    Exactly.

    I really don’t care what Google/Facebook etc know about me. None of my info is interesting in the least. I don’t look at ads, I just hide them immediately - so targeted ads are not a problem to me.

    Blind people find many apps useful. There are two apps where they take can take photo of something and immediately get a recorded description.

    I volunteer for the BeMyEyes app. There are so many volunteers I only get a notification about once a week.
  • Disavowal of privacy does not protect anyone from the consequences of its loss.

    As a sidebar, I find Google Maps quite unuseable, because I find it impossible to locate myself by reference to it. Every time I have tried to use it, it has led me round in circles, because I have no idea how to translate its world into the world I see around me. I have to read that world from its own evidence, apparently.

    The point on which apps, and social media ones in particular, are fundamentally dishonest is with regards to isolation. They seem to dissolve it, but fundamentally increase it. The contact they seem to facilitate has no emotional reality, in my experience, unless that is drawn from real-life contact. It "others" the whole world, leaving its user in a consumerist paradise which is entirely self-consistent. This is also the hell of true isolation.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I actually like the targetted ads - or rather, I prefer them to totally irrelevant ones. Mostly I ignore ads anyway, but occasionally, there is a targetted ad for something I realise I will find very helpful, and which I can afford, and I buy it. I tend to think out my purchases, and whether the time spent using them, and the benefits gained, will justify the money spent. I did this with my iPad mini and my iPhone too.

    I wanted to point out, as people were talking about monthly cost, it works out cheaper if you save up to buy the phone outright, and then have a data only plan. My phone plan is £12.84 a month, and includes unlimited phone calls and texts, and 10GB data. But still, it's only worth it if you find a smartphone is helpful and makes a big difference to your life, more of a difference than, say, BabyWombat's examples of turning up the heat and buying a decent bottle of gin. For me, it does, because I rarely use my central heating, and never have it turned up very high. And the only gin I've ever bought was the cheapest one, back in August, to add blackberries to. But my phone makes all sorts of positive difference to my life, especially the art apps, the map apps, the walking apps, the health apps, the organisation apps, the budgeting apps, the Ignatian apps, the Bible apps, the camera app, the book apps, and the web browser.

    Thing is, it's different for everyone. It seems meaningless to say technology is bad or technology is good. For some people it's life-changing, and for others it's just a trendy gadget that they don't use - rather like my bread machine (which was a present - I wouldn't have bought it, because I would have worked out that I wouldn't use it!). And some is largely irrelevant to some people. Like cars to me, as I don't drive. I do in fact often think cars are bad and I'd like them banned, because of the noise and the smells and speed and the accidents that happen and all the pollution, but I know many people would argue how vital they are.
  • Disavowal of privacy does not protect anyone from the consequences of its loss.

    As a sidebar, I find Google Maps quite unuseable, because I find it impossible to locate myself by reference to it. Every time I have tried to use it, it has led me round in circles, because I have no idea how to translate its world into the world I see around me. I have to read that world from its own evidence, apparently.

    The point on which apps, and social media ones in particular, are fundamentally dishonest is with regards to isolation. They seem to dissolve it, but fundamentally increase it. The contact they seem to facilitate has no emotional reality, in my experience, unless that is drawn from real-life contact. It "others" the whole world, leaving its user in a consumerist paradise which is entirely self-consistent. This is also the hell of true isolation.

    That is your experience. It is not universal.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    I don't get LeRoc's point about the privilege of not worrying about who has one's data either.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    Disavowal of privacy does not protect anyone from the consequences of its loss.

    As a sidebar, I find Google Maps quite unuseable, because I find it impossible to locate myself by reference to it. Every time I have tried to use it, it has led me round in circles, because I have no idea how to translate its world into the world I see around me. I have to read that world from its own evidence, apparently.

    The point on which apps, and social media ones in particular, are fundamentally dishonest is with regards to isolation. They seem to dissolve it, but fundamentally increase it. The contact they seem to facilitate has no emotional reality, in my experience, unless that is drawn from real-life contact. It "others" the whole world, leaving its user in a consumerist paradise which is entirely self-consistent. This is also the hell of true isolation.

    Yet, here you are on the Ship which is no different from any other forum - and social media is simply another way of chatting, not wildly different form this.

    I am on a Labrador forum and have made many RL friends. Yesterday I had a marvellous time doing [url="https://mylabradorfriends.com/threads/mantrailing-with-tatze.1312/page-1]Scent work[/url] with my dog - all thanks to the forum.

  • Oooops - that should read scent work.

    :smile:
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Interesting point about online connections having no emotional reality. Maybe for some people this is the case, and I know I thought that would be the case when I first started using the internet, back in the 90s. Today, some of the people I'm closest to are those I have got to know online. Some I have met in 'real life' and others I haven't. When I do meet them in real life, I tend to find we have a connection I can't normally get with 'real life' people, because I can communicate in a much more real and emotional and whole way in writing than in speaking, so this bridges a lot of the gaps I have with people whom I only know in 'real life.' I have got to know people mostly on closed blog sites, where you interact and express yourself in detail. And through these, often we send things in the post to each other too. I am happy for online friends when good things happen to them, sad for them when bad things happen, and I cry when they die. They are real people.

    Of course, there are many people I interact with online that are more like acquaintances, which is maybe more the case here on the Ship, where it is a public discussion board with many people, so less personal. And even on Facebook, it's only a handful of people I feel close to. But this is surely not much different from 'real life' - of the people I know and see in person who are local to me, there are many acquaintances and superficial friends, and only a handful I feel close to.

    Perhaps I am unusual though in that 'real life' contact can be isolating for me, as I easily get sensory overload, and can disconnect from what's going on when there's too much for me to process. For genuine connection, it works best with one person at a time, and in a quiet environment. Sometimes I feel sad I don't live close enough to go to the Ship meetups in London, but in reality, I'd feel quite overwhelmed in a noisy restaurant with different people, and I'd be quiet and withdrawn. Perhaps the idea that 'real life' interaction is deeper and more meaningful is based on a default norm of having all your senses and sensory processing working in a 'normal' way - because the thing that makes it different from online interaction is involvement of all the senses.
  • Disavowal of privacy does not protect anyone from the consequences of its loss.
    This is very true.
    The point on which apps, and social media ones in particular, are fundamentally dishonest is with regards to isolation. They seem to dissolve it, but fundamentally increase it. .
    It is a mixed bag, really. It is dependant on the particular people and how they use it. Whilst I do think social media is a net negative to society, there are positive uses to it.

  • The point on which apps, and social media ones in particular, are fundamentally dishonest is with regards to isolation. They seem to dissolve it, but fundamentally increase it.

    They can do - but then again in my observation a lot of people were isolated pre-social media, or rather the reasons they were becoming isolated had very little to do with social media and more to do with work pressures, and older forms of community eroding away.

    And to be honest I could make the same critique about those older forms of community and get quite a bunch of people agreeing with me ; for instance 'churches are fundamentally dishonest is with regards to isolation, they seem to dissolve it, but fundamentally increase it.'

    If you want to riff on the ills of social media then I can fill several books - but smartphone use doesn't begin and end there.
  • fineline wrote: »
    Interesting point about online connections having no emotional reality. Maybe for some people this is the case, and I know I thought that would be the case when I first started using the internet, back in the 90s.
    It is, as you describe, very much in how one interacts. And, as you note, not that much different to face to face interaction.
    Perhaps the idea that 'real life' interaction is deeper and more meaningful is based on a default norm of having all your senses and sensory processing working in a 'normal' way - because the thing that makes it different from online interaction is involvement of all the senses.
    Humans are visually-oriented, social creatures. Much of our interaction is non-verbal so an online only relationship will not have the full potential of a face to face encounter. For most people.
    BTW, I don't think normal deserves the '' treatment. There is definitely a loose definition of normal or typical for most criteria. The problem is the assignation of worth based on proximity to that definition, not the definition itself.

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I am definitely visually oriented. Which is why online communication suits me so well. It is purely visual. No multisensory confusion requiring muti-tasking. I can see the words. They don't appear as a momentary auditory thing and then vanish. They are there, still, for me to look at for as long as I need to.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I also find a lot of people are quite good at adapting non-verbal stuff into words on a page. Which may sound contradictory, literally-speaking, but it's about the layers of between-the-lines meanings people can convey - they adapt how they communicate online, if they are reasonably good at communication. People sometimes say that online communication comes across as rude because it lacks tone of voice and facial expression, but in my experience, it doesn't have to. When people lack ability to adapt, it may, but I find online communication is not usually a one-dimensional way of communicating the words one would communicate in person but lacking the non-verbal communication. It's an adapted way of communicating, finding new and creative ways of communicating the non-verbal stuff. People are incredibly adaptable. Think how people with various sensory disabilities can find ways of communicating effectively, if people are willing to adapt to and with them, rather than rigidly insisting communication has to be a certain way.
  • fineline wrote: »
    I am definitely visually oriented. Which is why online communication suits me so well. It is purely visual. No multisensory confusion requiring muti-tasking. I can see the words. They don't appear as a momentary auditory thing and then vanish. They are there, still, for me to look at for as long as I need to.
    This misses what I meant, I think. I've had partial conversations with people without even speaking. A glance and an expression and a replied expression in context of an event can say a while lot. I interview well, from both sides of the table because I read the small hesitations or interest that doe not come through in the written word. And never would because the person isn't thinking about it.
  • fineline wrote: »
    I also find a lot of people are quite good at adapting non-verbal stuff into words on a page. Which may sound contradictory, literally-speaking, but it's about the layers of between-the-lines meanings people can convey - they adapt how they communicate online, if they are reasonably good at communication. People sometimes say that online communication comes across as rude because it lacks tone of voice and facial expression, but in my experience, it doesn't have to. When people lack ability to adapt, it may, but I find online communication is not usually a one-dimensional way of communicating the words one would communicate in person but lacking the non-verbal communication. It's an adapted way of communicating, finding new and creative ways of communicating the non-verbal stuff. People are incredibly adaptable. Think how people with various sensory disabilities can find ways of communicating effectively, if people are willing to adapt to and with them, rather than rigidly insisting communication has to be a certain way.
    First, I am not insisting on rigid rules of communication. I am merely saying that the way humans communicate is typically more animalistic than we like to think. And this includes non-verbal information that we generally aren't cognizant of.
    And yes, we are adaptable and online communication can be somewhat nuanced.

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    fineline wrote: »
    I am definitely visually oriented. Which is why online communication suits me so well. It is purely visual. No multisensory confusion requiring muti-tasking. I can see the words. They don't appear as a momentary auditory thing and then vanish. They are there, still, for me to look at for as long as I need to.
    This misses what I meant, I think. I've had partial conversations with people without even speaking. A glance and an expression and a replied expression in context of an event can say a while lot. I interview well, from both sides of the table because I read the small hesitations or interest that doe not come through in the written word. And never would because the person isn't thinking about it.

    I'm not missing what you are saying. More pointing out that being visually-oriented can be different for different people. That there is not necessarily one 'best' way of communicating. A blind person can also communicate in a non-verbal way, but obviously different from the way you describe. Nuances of conversation can be conveyed in numerous different ways, and are not obliterated by written communication. And nuances are not even automatically the 'best' way to communicate. I think it can be easy for people to assume the majority way of communicating is superior, and I am challenging this idea.

  • ThunderBunkThunderBunk Shipmate
    edited December 2018
    The majority way has an unanswerable advantage, in that it is necessarily the way to comunicate with the largest number of people. This simple fact can be dismissed too lightly. I have my own difficulties with "majority communication", being an introvert who works in an open plan office constantly surrounded by a vortex of people, but I am aware of the need to communicate in ways which suit my audience, which means I can't operate entirely according to my personal preference, at least in some circumstances.

    Nuances may or may not be the "best" way of communicating, but they are at least innately human. We communicate nuance in all sorts of ways, some of which are entirely idiosyncratic, some from our family, some from other units of culture. They come to form part of our identity, and are to be treasured, not dismissed as imperfect commnication. They do, however, become entirely uncommunicative if not shared, and if the necessary effort to sort out a successful integration with majority communication is not at least paritally achieved.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    The majority way is also the way of the prevalent culture, so it's not just about disability. Different cultures have different ways of communication, and can easily misunderstand each other. By the same logic, you could say that in the UK, the way white Brits who have grown up in the UK (and particularly those within a certain social class) communicate is 'better' than the way people from other cultures communicate. Yes, it's important to adapt one's communication to audience, of course, but it goes both ways, or should do, rather than everyone simply having to conform to the majority. Particular as the majority may be more able to adapt than the minority in some cases.
  • fineline wrote: »
    I'm not missing what you are saying. More pointing out that being visually-oriented can be different for different people. That there is not necessarily one 'best' way of communicating. A blind person can also communicate in a non-verbal way, but obviously different from the way you describe.
    I would gather that blind people would more likely to be sensitive to verbal subtleties. But if someone frowns, they are just not going to know that.
    Nuances of conversation can be conveyed in numerous different ways, and are not obliterated by written communication.
    I would say that they can be, to an extent, included. But this, IMO and IME is more difficult and less complete. One has to know and be willing to share one's unconscious responses as well as clearly communicate the subtleties. Given that many people do not manage this in face to face encounters,* I fail to see how they would in written.
    And nuances are not even automatically the 'best' way to communicate.
    Nuance is a variable benefit. For instance, if we were speaking I might notice that you were uncomfortable. However, unless I asked, I would not know why. I could make an assumption, but that would be highly dependant on level of familiarity. And still might be wrong.
    However, seeing the discomfort is a starting point I would not have in written communication.
    I think it can be easy for people to assume the majority way of communicating is superior, and I am challenging this idea.
    Superior is also a variable thing. It really depends on what one is trying to communicate, to whom they are communicating and in what situation.
    No form of communication is perfect, but I fail to see how removing a component of human communication would be beneficial in most circumstances.

    *By this I mean that they are not aware of their reactions. And that they might not want to be completely open about what they think and feel.
  • fineline wrote: »
    The majority way is also the way of the prevalent culture, so it's not just about disability. Different cultures have different ways of communication, and can easily misunderstand each other. By the same logic, you could say that in the UK, the way white Brits who have grown up in the UK (and particularly those within a certain social class) communicate is 'better' than the way people from other cultures communicate.
    But it isn't the same logic. The different sub-cultures in the UK use the same methods of communication, it is the cues that are different. But all the tools are the same. It is still a mix of words, tone, expression, gesture, etc. even though the gestures might be different.
    Yes, it's important to adapt one's communication to audience, of course, but it goes both ways, or should do, rather than everyone simply having to conform to the majority. Particular as the majority may be more able to adapt than the minority in some cases.
    It isn't about conforming to the majority, not for the points I am making. For some people, a written communication might well work better for them. This is not about excluding them, but understanding communication.

  • My Facebook group has 5,000 members, half of them are blind or VI.

    We do use photos but it’s a rule that all photos must be described in detail. I delete photos which don’t have this.

    This is about communication but it’s also about accessibility.

    Blind people post a lot of photos. They use an app like BeMyEyes to help with the descriptions.

    We also have ten deaf/blind people who have Guide Dogs which are also trained Hearing Dogs (you can recognise them by their white and red checked harness). They communicate using a computer which translates text into Braille.

    This technology liberates them to communitcate in a way that was impossible even ten years ago.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    lilbuddha, to me, it's not about either/or, nor a competition as to which is best. Before technology, people had penpals - letter writing was a big thing for people to keep in touch or form friendships overseas. Technology enables people to more easily keep in touch with people who live far away. You can be highly skilled in understanding every nuance of a frown and glance, but that is no good when the person you want to talk to is hundreds of miles away.

    Though actually, it can be if you use Skype or something similar. Technology now gives people that option too - of speaking and seeing each other. Personally, I prefer writing, but technology gives the option of talking and seeing each other in real time too. Yes, of course it is not the same as having the person sit next to you and give you a hug, but equally it beats simply not being in touch at all, and is simpler than having to write a letter and get it sent in a plane (also technology), and wait for the person to receive it and write one back and get it sent on a plane. In a way, letter writing is more artificial.

    My point - as always in this discussion - is that it's not a simple case of 'technology has made our lives worse.' It is about how people use it. And it can be used in very positive and life-enhancing ways. Particularly for people with various disabilities, who previously may have had a lot less opportunity to engage with the world. And disability is not such a minority really, if you consider the whole lifespan. Anyone can become disabled at any time, and in all sorts of ways.
  • Yes - we love Skype for keeping in touch with our sons, who live far away.

    When our eldest comes on skype he stays on all evening as if he’s in the room! We prop the iPad on the table and he joins in as if he’s eating his meal with us. He’ll wander off to get food/drink etc and it’s really ‘natural’ to interact like this.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    When our eldest comes on skype he stays on all evening as if he’s in the room! We prop the iPad on the table and he joins in as if he’s eating his meal with us. He’ll wander off to get food/drink etc and it’s really ‘natural’ to interact like this.

    At a previous job, we had a screen in our aisle dialled in permanently to the one member of our team that worked remotely - in that context it also worked really well to ensure that she didn't feel left out of all the casual discussions (both work and work unrelated) that went on within the team.
  • fineline wrote: »
    lilbuddha, to me, it's not about either/or, nor a competition as to which is best.
    Nor to me. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything. IME, written has more than face to face. Which advantages and disadvantages will be better will be personal and situational, but face to face is how we evolved.
    Before technology, people had penpals - letter writing was a big thing for people to keep in touch or form friendships overseas. Technology enables people to more easily keep in touch with people who live far away. You can be highly skilled in understanding every nuance of a frown and glance, but that is no good when the person you want to talk to is hundreds of miles away..
    I haven't said written communication is useless, it is what we are doing now.
    Though actually, it can be if you use Skype or something similar. Technology now gives people that option too - of speaking and seeing each other..
    Our tangent wasn't about anything other than writing v actually talking to others. Not in my mind, at least. Whilst Facetime and Skype certainly increase the level of communication, they are not the same as face to face.
    In a way, letter writing is more artificial.
    I suppose. Letter writing, from my understanding, is certainly more deliberate. And though text based communication can be more immediate and interactive, I wouldn't call it completely natural either.
    My point - as always in this discussion - is that it's not a simple case of 'technology has made our lives worse.' It is about how people use it.
    I believe I've said this as well. I have said that I think social media is a net negative, I have not made that case for technology in general.
    And disability is not such a minority really, if you consider the whole lifespan. Anyone can become disabled at any time, and in all sorts of ways.
    And those will be disabilities.
    Again, I think we are treading the border of labels and the value assigned to those labels. And that is clouding the discussion, IMO.

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