WE’RE more connected than ever, but technology is actually driving us apart, a new survey has found.
The OPSM Future Vision Report found older adults are worried technological advances will wipe out human interaction by the end of the century.
But young people are happy, and feel the world is a better place, thanks to advances such as email and the internet, the study of 1000 adults found.
Older people blame today’s youth, putting the decline of community down to Gen Y’s self-centredness, greed and decline in morals.
Already there are signs our sense of society is breaking down, as two-thirds of young people admit they don’t know people living around them.
This doesn’t bother them, though, given almost two-thirds of all people would prefer peace and quiet to having friendly neighbours.
And, despite 90 per cent of people worrying about “soul-less machines”, one in three would still like to see robots replacing humans.
Men are also more optimistic, with two-thirds feeling the world is a better place, compared with little more than half of all women.
Social analyst David Chalke said people were “nostalgic for the sociability of the past, such as service from someone in a friendly local store who takes the time to help”.
“This feeds into the concerns about its further erosion in the future,” Mr Chalke said.
“Technology is widely regarded as beneficial, but brings with it the perceived downside risks of further automation and depersonalisation.”
Sacha Kaluri, director of the Australian Teenage Expo, said there was often a communication gap between older and younger people.
“Younger people are often intimidated by making phone calls in favour of Facebook,” she explained.
Avondale Heights mum Sonya Karras said her family had every “i” device going.
Her daughter, Chloe, “often just wanted to message instead of speaking directly”.
“She sometimes does feel nervous about calling, and I have to encourage her to pick up the phone,” she said.