Such a short, simple post had me contemplating this digital age we live in. It has given us so much. Technology & those who study/create it have provided the world with innovative tools for building/creating, healing, inventing, doing business, staying in touch with far-away friends & family, & even making new friends despite distance & other circumstances. It has afforded us new, sometimes easier ways to earn a living & support our loved ones. Blogging & YouTube are among the many tools people use to gain the notoriety which has led to some of those people being able to make ends meet without doing much more than sitting in front of a computer screen. We can thank YouTube for Justin Bieber.
I realize we have to take the bad with the good (the ‘sh_t with the sugar’ if you ask my husband) and that makes perfect sense. But sometimes I wonder if the good we’re getting is worth the price we’re paying for it. For example, the internet is a largely dominant force in our modern society. Like…the most epic invention in the history of ever. But what has it cost us?
With the internet came amazing things like instant access to information, the ability for anyone to contribute content from anywhere, and a constant flow of knowledge about nearly anything right at your fingertips. It birthed the idea of social media, digital books, tablets & smartphones. It also brought us some problems.
Such as: 1.) Instant access to information: now instant gratification is the norm causing many people to lack patience & the basic knowledge of how to find a book in a library when the internet is down. People don’t know what to do with themselves when there isn’t some form of technology close by. I’m guilty of it, too. We all look like this without a computer or a smartphone in our hands:
2.) The ability for anyone to contribute content from anywhere. True or false, good or bad, for better or worse.
3.) A constant flow of knowledge about nearly anything right at your fingertips. You have access to a multitude of great education, sure, but you also have people searching for how to kill babies without getting caught & then leaving them in hot cars while sending explicit messages to minors. AND you don’t know if that is even what actually happened; all you know is what the internet told you & the internet has so many sources for telling us things that we can never know which things are actually legitimate and which aren’t. Luckily, there’s a great source that helps with that called snopes.com, but they can’t tackle every falsehood on the internet and they’re even bound to be wrong themselves a time or two.
All those problems come with their own little subset of other problems.
Now we don’t have to be stationary to be on the internet. We can tweet while walking down a busy street or at dinner with our families. We can upload videos and give minute by minute updates on what we’re doing, what other people are doing, where we are, etc. We ignore the people we’re with so that we can let everyone who isn’t with us know what they’re missing (which is usually nothing). We have to have documented proof that we were there, wherever “there” is at the time. Being a photographer, I’m guilty of it, too. I want to preserve memories. I don’t want to forget anything so I want to document everything. But, we’ve forgotten how to just be where we are. We are so concerned with chronicling every moment of our existence that we actually miss the most important part of it. The part where we’re actually living & participating in life & not just documenting it. You should tweet that. (
I’m kidding. I’m not kidding. I want you to join me in something later, so if you tweet that, other people can join us. But it’s totally up to you. Watch the video & read on…)
I’m going to practice just being where I am and enjoying the moments I’m given without the constant distraction of phones or social media. I won’t succeed 100% of the time, but I am going to make a conscious effort to put my phone on silent & tuck it away when I’m visiting with friends &/or family or at the dinner table. To leave it off or silenced unless I need it when hiking, exercising, driving, etc. To do more during the day than just blog & type random words into google search bars just to see what weird things people are searching for. To exercise, to enjoy fresh air, to learn without google, to discover new hobbies, make new friends the old fashioned way…
The goal is simply to live more in the present. I hope you’ll join me. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t take a picture of a beautiful view, message a friend we never see or update our status when our kid does something hilarious…we’re just a making a more conscious effort to pick our phones up less & participate more with life than we do with Facebook. I don’t think that’s asking a lot. Maybe some of us can even learn how to use the Dewey Decimal System or read a paper map. 😉 Tweet &/or share to FB to let me know you’re in & hopefully others will jump in, too!
Maybe we can help make this sad – albeit humorous – photo a little less true. And no, that does not mean you have my permission to share a YouTube video of me dancing like a mentally-challenged string bean…unless you tag me in it.