Remember the Walkman? It was a little radio/cassette player that velcroed to your arm, and had an earpiece that delivered music directly into your ear. People used it jogging. I hated it, because I could see how it could endanger a person, not being able to hear approaching cars or predators. Others thought it was great--no more blasting boom boxes, and everyone could march to their own drummer, so to speak.
Now, in these days of the IPod and the I-phone, the "I" generation never needs to come face to face with anyone. Kids text each other across the house, rather than walk down the hall and speak. They are becoming more and more oblivious to the outside, and more and more enclosed, each in his or her own little world.
Air conditioning started the isolation movement. When it's cooler inside, why spend time sitting on the porch? People don't stroll their neighbourhood of an evening the way they used to. They either jog, hung about with pedometers and water bottles, or walk as if they are training for the Olympics. Sometimes their dogs are hard-pressed to keep up. And, of course, they bear the ubiquitous IPod.
Many of us don't let our kids gather in parks, either. Not only do we not know what they're up to, we don't know who might be watching them. When my kids were younger, we had no cell phones or computers. When Brendan was at home, we had a computer, but it sat in the living room. He got his first cell phone for his 17th birthday. How fast times have changed! Now kids in elementary school have internet-equipped cell phones, and I hope the lord knows what they are up to on them, because their parents don't.
Many people work at home, take University classes on line, and spend their leisure time playing complex games on line.
...And people wonder why we are losing our sense of community!