|"Technology is more likely to produce learned zombies than educated human beings..., passive observers, not skilled participants in life."|
|Richard Strozzi Heckler, Rancho Strozzi Institute|
With Phrenicea, basic skills for human interaction suffer and
are manifested with self-conscious and shy behavior. Face-to-face human discourse
taken for granted for centuries became a planned and conscious effort;
analogous to the structured physical exercise programs pursued at the turn of the century
to compensate for a sedentary lifestyle brought on by labor-saving devices.
Just as people joined gyms in the beginning of the 21st century to take up physical exercise, the mid-21st-century "couch potatoes" were joining "comms" — derived from the word "commune" — to practice interacting with real, live human beings in an attempt to overcome mass verecundity and worldwide social phobia.
It should be pointed out that humdrum indoor virtual living does have advantages. Infectious diseases — ever more pernicious — do not have much opportunity to spread. Exposure to the lethally potent UV rays of sunlight are minimized, and the need to endure the now cumbersome transportation system is drastically reduced.