People are always looking at their phones!
No one just lives, they have to take a picture and post it!
Why don’t people stop looking at their phones and just be present in the moment??
That’s what you hear people talk about, that’s what most of the think pieces say that I’ve read.
It’s easy to think because until 10 or so years ago the lifestyle that we lived didn’t exist and so we have nothing else to compare it to.
And maybe that is true.
But think about it differently for a moment.
Never in our whole history have we been so connected to each other. So able to reach out and just touch each other with thought and images. Either individually, with texts or phone calls, or in mass, with social media.
We connect with people, we feel each other’s joys and worry and laughter and fear and curiosity and sadness.
Is that a bad thing?
Would we have been able to generate $34 billion in crowdfunding if we didn’t have these connections?
How much music have you learned about because someone posted it on social media?
How many artists have you discovered?
How much art have you bought or funded through Patreon?
How many more people in how many different parts of the world are you tethered to through that phone?
And how many times has the support given to you on the screen been the thing that helped you through a moment?
We are connected. Connection is not a bad thing.
It’s not all sunny days. There’s lots of issues. But the fact that we carry around our phones and want to connect our existence to the larger one that exists in our phones is NOT really a bad thing.
I’m not convinced that people are so disconnected with the moment because of the phones. I lived most of my life without a phone and I’m not particularly addicted to it now. I don’t check social media on it except in waiting rooms. I live with you guys on my laptop.
But I don’t live my life present in every moment because I’m not checking my phone. I live in my head, easily distracted by daydreams and memories and worries. And I’m not unique. Most humans were not super present in a moment before phones. It’s just wasn’t as obvious.
I would not be surprised to find out that people with phones are more present in the moment because they are looking for things to share and connect. Where as I’m just drifting through, only aware enough to keep from falling into holes.
The phones aren’t the end of civilization. They are just the newest iteration of it.
3 thoughts on “The Ease of Condemning our Connectivity”
Good post. I don’t use my cell but my computer to connect with childhood friends. I know when important things happen to more distant friends and relatives because they post. It allows me to be there for them. I research most things before I buy weeding through reviews. It is different and I like it.
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I think you are right, but that both sides of this argument are true. Our social media/online lives ARE (or can be) in a sort of competition with our “real” lives among people physically around us. Each person must find a balance in the time they spend looking into screens and typing versus looking into eyes and speaking. The biggest problem is that changes are coming faster and faster – the good and the bad. Cell phones have been around for a decade and already, people feel lost and helpless when they find themselves without one. We all need time to find a balance. To value more connections and to value unconnected times.
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Yes. Its complex balancing act.