Most of us are living a fake reality. We might be “connected” to thousands of people all over the world on social media, but we struggle to connect with the people who are an arm’s length away. Our families are playing second fiddle to people we don’t even really know.
Do yourself a favour. Go to a coffee shop or restaurant and see how the dynamics have changed. In the past it used to be a place we went to, to catch up on what’s been happening in the lives of our friends. Families used to sit in a restaurant and connect with one another. Today, we would rather stare at a screen than show interest in the person sitting opposite us. And when we do say a few words, our phone’s screen must be visible at all times in case a Facebook message appears. Here’s something to consider… if you put your phone on the table at a restaurant, you are saying to the person you are with that they are your 2nd choice for company.
Turning it upside-down doesn’t make it better. When it rings, you look who it is and you say that it can wait, doesn’t make it better. My question is, “Why do we need to always have our phones with us?” How about showing up to a meeting with a friend, without your phone! How about sitting down for dinner with your family after you switched off all phones so that nothing can interrupt this precious time you have with the most important people in your life? I grew up in the era before cell phones and I can promise you that nothing terrible happened when I got together with a friend. It was all about connecting with the person you were with.
And, by the way, our smart devices are making us dumb. We have become so dependant on them, that we have lost the ability to memorise phone numbers. It has become too easy to rely on technology and too much effort to do anything for ourselves. The machines we are creating are making us submit to them. If your arm were in a sling for 4 weeks, the muscles would deteriorate because of a lack of use. In the same way, our brains will lose the ability to function to capacity if we use technology to solve every problem we encounter.
“I fear that the day technology surpasses our human interaction, the world will have a generation of idiots!” And that day won’t be too far in the future unless we start to place a higher premium on real relationships and less time making an idol of our devices.