Welcome to life connected, cell phones, tablets, computers, texting, Facebook, and tweets. We can tell what all of our friends are having for dinner, who they are upset with, what films they are watching, or when they are at the gym. No we haven’t talked to them, we’re connected.
We can see where our friends are, look at their pictures, share their stories or jokes, we can spend hours looking at everyone we know and all they are doing. We can send them a message instantly and if we’re lucky get an instant reply. On the occasion where we don’t get that instant reply, we wonder what’s wrong, are they mad, why don’t they respond. We want our information immediately no time to wait, just get the information to me and move on to the next dose of media. We don’t share an experience and a good laugh with a friend over a drink, we simply text LOL or ROFL while we stare blankly into glowing screens.
We can’t make eye contact and have a conversation at the dinner table, we simply stare at our devices while tweets and texts zip through cyber space. There is no interaction that is not filtered through binary on its way to the intended recipient. No personal connection, simply empty meaningless electrons zipping to and fro filtering information back and forth.
Welcome to life connected . . . or rather unconnected. We live in a world where we don’t speak to one another, unless it is through zipping electrons. We don’t have dinner parties without a ringing or buzzing, and everyone reaching for their device to see what they are missing out on. We can’t enjoy the present without checking texts or updating our Facebook status to let the friends you are at the dinner party with know how much fun you are having at the dinner party. Oh, and make sure that you tag them when you post the pictures of the plate that you are enjoying, even though they are enjoying the same plate, it doesn’t count if its not posted.
There is no connection to the present, we are worried about what is going on in the web or on the net. We can’t miss out we have to stay connected, but in being connected, we are missing out on the personal connection, we are becoming unconnected. How can we continue to overload ourselves with useless zipping electrons, while forsaking real life interpersonal relationships.
We need to disconnect in order to become connected. Put down the tablet, turn off the cell phone, close the lap top. Rather than sending out texts or tweets sharpen a pencil, take out a piece of paper and write a letter. Have a dinner party or spend an evening with friends and leave the devices at home or turn them off. Take a camping trip to a remote destination without WiFi or 4G and set around a campfire roasting smores, telling stories late into the evening. Take the time to connect just make sure you are unconnected first.