The Irony of Connectedness

From David Wells’ book The Courage to Be Protestant:

Never before have the line of communication between people been more numerous, more efficient, or more used: e-mail, text-messaging, and cell phones are ubiquitous in our culture. We are the Wired Generation, living in a mostly electronically mediated world. However, have you noticed that while everyone is speaking, no one is really listening? We are swamped by voices. So many want our time and attention that for our own protection we shut out most of them. And while we are surfing the internet, e-mailing, watching television, or playing video games, we are doing it all alone. We are wired, but we are also more lonely and have fewer confidants than ever before. The Putnam Thesis of the 1960’s is correct: we are in touch with everyone potentially, but we know and are known by almost no one in particular.

(p. 31, emphases mine)