Let's suppose you have a store full of food. Good food: fresh breads, vegetables, meats from well-fed and cared for animals, ripest fruits, fresh juices, whathaveyou. You come there everyday, and even though it isn't cheap buying food there, you don't have anywhere else to buy foods from, so you buy it and enjoy it later, even if you have to spend up to an hour cooking it.
You leave the city and return ten years later. Lo! The store, the one that had all the good foods in it, now sells junk food as well. You know the stuff: mass-produced potato chips, tasteless but full of artificial taste spices; drinks that have more sugar in them than you can possibly eat raw; cooked veggies and fruits, grown hell knows where and prepared by unknown methods.
Bad stuff, right? Well, it's cheap - in more senses than one.
Those chips that're nowhere near real stuff? That's right - they're so much brighter, taste-wise. They're far tastier to our tongue that we can't stand not taking another slice - until the whole bag is over with, your hands are smeered in fat and you've got your post-high relaxation. So good! You want more!
Those sugary drinks? You may not know it, but your mind is turned on by sugar; and since there's nothing in reality that has so much sugar in it, you get hooked onto the drinks like it's cocaine, but sweeter and with diabetes instead of death. Pretty cool deal, right? Of course! Give no shit to that you're consuming more sugar than daily healthy for a person your age!
I think you get this part of the point, so I'll stop here; besides, I'm running out of paraphrases: it's getting late here, and caffeine is running out as well.
Oh, and the best thing? They're already prepared for consumption, and they're cheaper than your regular, less-sweet stuff! You must be mad to skip on that deal!
I think, as far as metaphors go, this one's my masterpiece so far. You see, the old-school ways of consuming information and socializing - reading, meeting others in physical space and actually moving your mouth to communicate - take time, like cooking and other food preparation techniques, and time these days had been artificially made to appear in short supply. What kind of an idiot wants to socialize properly, anyway? Who has time for this outdated idea? Having a beer and talking about superfluous stuff once in a while ought to be more than enough! Who gives a shit that you require deeper, more meaningful conversations?
But those quick stuff - a message conversation, a review already prepared for mental consumption, an idea already chewed up for you to use in those superfluous conversations to appear smart to your barely-friends - seems much better. You don't have to ruminate about the world on your own when everything has already been ruminated for you. You don't have to cook up your mind when there's already mental fast food available, often enough at no price at all.
You see, I think you're missing most important aspects of being human. We crave for better, for quicker, for cheaper, for less work, for less time spent; we're optimizers by nature, and this century, a terrible thing continues to happen: we optimize our lives. Rather than spend our time observing this wonderful, rich world - which is as rich for you as for a poor kid in Africa - we'd rather get our social high from texting with a person we can easily reach later this day, just so that we won't feel so lonely. It's not the technology's fault that we go for it, but the technology development not only supports it whole-heartedly but thrives from it with pride. People require better, and the inventors serve them, because they, too, have to live on something.
I'm having trouble thinking right now - it is late - but I think it's an important topic to deal with, especially because I won't have the Internet for the next few days and won't be able to continue this conversation. So, here go my blunt, unshaved thoughts on the matter:
We need informational high. This century keeps bringing things that allow us to think less on our own. We read someone's opinion of something, and we get our high; otherwise, we feel incomplete, which is the most right thing we can feel at this point. We're hollow, personality-wise, because we don't develop ourselves due to the tech. How does it make us mindless? By giving us the high which would otherwise be achieved through thinking and actual, physically-present conversations with other people who, too, would think for themselves and, thus, provide different points of view and let us think some more even on stuff we think we know. Once we get the "most reliable" info from the Net, we believe ourselves to know it all and struggle when our bubble gets burst.
Speaking of which. We cover ourselves in bubbles and stand aggressive once someone tries to burst it. Inside of it, we're terrified of the mental assault this world brings onto us, made easy with techonology that allows mass broadcasts of mind-numbing stuff. Basic instincts kick in due to higher mind blacking out, and we want to fit it; as we get this wish, we follow it and do what everybody does - and such crowd is easy as hell to control. Technology allows us to stay in the bubble and pretend like we're all fine, posting pretentious shit in social media in an attempt to make reality believe it's not like it's supposed to be.
Your iPhone is as inherently bad as a knife, indeed, but fuck me if it doesn't promote mind-numbing in order to fit in. All this toneless texting, all this "liking" posts (what a fucking blasphemy against personal tastes and interests), all these upvotes and downvotes (yes, I mean Reddit; sorry, I run out of good examples quickly) - it's nothing more than social masturbation, a cheap and pathetic substitute for real connections with real people. It's cool that I can talk to you about it, but I won't know you from the stuff you write, and I won't connect with you even if you're as open as can be online, because here, you're nought but a username with details attached to it. Neither you nor I make for real people here or when communicating through texting.
Everybody understands that, but, like cooking, it's an acquired taste that came to our grandparents and parents quite easily - they weren't distracted by the astonishing tons of information every fucking seconds of every day of their lives. They just... worked, and lived, and talked to their children and friends and stuff. You know, like many of us dream to today. Ask kleinbl00 about friendship, and you'll get an answer to which my peers have no access beyond the walls of their bubbles. Tell me that technology isn't to blame when all it does is actively promoting this wicked way of living and thinking.