DRAFT: Technology is a wonderful thing. It connects us in many meaningful ways instantly with people from around the world. Our communication and ways to share information has grown exponentially in just the last 25 years of human kind alone. But like cigarettes, drugs and alcohol addiction, humans also seem have no self control with our shinny technological objects and abusing the power it brings.
What is this obsession with social media, texting and always being connected? I overheard a someone at work today say they felt naked and that it was like not having part of their arm without their phone because this person left it at their desk while eating in the break room. What?!
My point is proven by just heading to YouTube and watching countless video hours of random people looking down at their phone’s while walking into traffic and getting hit, or into sign poles or even off train station platforms. There’s a great video of a guy in Alaska with his earbuds in listening to music and Facebooking who walks right into a bear who wandered into town and never looked up once while people were shouting at him. Really? Is that guy connected? We laugh at this, but there is also the countless people who are killed or kill someone else because they are too busy texting or updating their social media while they are driving.
There is a difference between living in the moment and being in the moment. I recently went to a concert and watched someone who was constantly taking pictures and posting them on Facebook. Literally though the whole show. Watching the show through a camera and missing half of the experience of just being there and the enjoyment of it because this person was too busy updating a status.
It’s like the people who tweet play by plays during sports events, post something great the preacher said while listening to a sermon at church, or are tweeting during a catastrophe. They’re listening and involved enough to figure out how to fit 200 characters into a tweet and make their reads and likes higher. They’re not connected to the message or the person speaking or the event around them, they’ve made it about “themselves” instead of “us”.
I wouldn’t call these people connected. Sure they have an internet connection and are interacting with peoples messages on their device of choice, getting instant updates and posting selfies, but there is no real world connection to warm bodies and the world around them. Seems to me, more and more people dislike real world interaction. Kind of makes me wonder if we’re raising a whole new generation that is so “connected” that they never go outside.
I think the new lie is that you need to be connected online. Fifty years ago people met once or twice a week and had a beer together, grilled out and talked about life. This is how you found out what was going on in their lives and the world. Any anyone who sold any goods or services stopped by or met face to face for a chat. They knocked on the door so say hello. People rarely talk face to face anymore and people in the sales or service industry hide behind emails and automated answering systems. People tend to hide when someone knocks on their door now… what a horrible disconnect.
I think this disconnect leads to insensitivity too. You have a friend struggling with cancer, someone who lost a baby, who lost a spouse or a house from a fire. Did an entire spices of animals go extinct while you sat around for two years gaming and watching Netflix? Just hit up Facebook and “Sad face 🙁 ” your way to feeling better in a few clicks. — There is no personal involvement or connection at all. We’ve gone numb from experiencing things on a screen verses getting involved and experiencing them in life.
My wife I and we’re doing this to each other for a long time too. Our lives are so busy that we rarely have time to spend with each other, yet we always found time to check our emails and post and reply to every Facebook comment for an hour after we both got home from work. We’ve both since stopped and made a commitment to not do that anymore. But go out to a restaurant or just people watch. Watch home many couples just sit there across from each other staring at their phones not talking waiting for their food. Here’s an observation (they are connected to everything but each other). That pretty much sums up how I feel about where the world is headed socially. It’s a dangerous disconnect.
I realize that technology is part of the world and we can’t all live in caves. Technology is a wonderful and beautiful thing that has enriched and enhanced our lives and workplaces. But like over eating, smoking and drinking, too much of something is bad if it starts to effect our lives negatively. So all i’m saying is pay attention to moderation. If you can’t remember the last time you’ve been outside or talked to someone without having to glance at your stupid phone you should probably “disconnect” for a while.
Trust me, 95% of everything on social media can be deleted or ignored because it’s not that important. The beauty of setting your device down or just deactivating your social accounts for a while is that if you do decide to come back, the same people will be spouting the same stuff over and over again from now till forever so you won’t really miss anything important.
And really none of it is important. Important is talking to your friends, listening to your kids tell funny stories, being engaged fully with the people around you and talking face to face endlessly into the night with the one you love.
I have become an online disconnector over the past year or so with no real social or online presence besides a blog and a few occasional Facebook posts. In all of this, one thing that occurred to me in my conversations with people is the phrase “Hey buddy, my eye are up here!” has taken on a new universal meaning. It’s now the mutual feeling for anyone (or disconnectors like me) trying to have a conversation with anyone who is holding a phone or some type of technology in their hands and is texting, Facebooking or Tweeting while your trying talking to them.
Welcome to the new age and I want to slap your stupid phone out of your hand when I talk to you. I want you to get connected to other people by disconnecting for a bit and go outside and play with a stick or something without your technology and enjoy the world.