Are we too connected? Last Monday was just an average Monday. My friend sent out a tweet about her new art show and so I wall posted her via facebook about the time and location in which she replied via a comment saying that she would give me a call. She followed up with a voicemail message and an invitation email, sent to my personal account of course. I then texted her telling of my availability and keenness to see her recent work. At the end of my Monday something occurred to me; actually it was more like I was slapped in the face by the hand of modern technology.
I had seemingly been communicating all day and yet somehow connected with nobody. I myself am an avid enthusiast of the joys of modern technology so you can see why I did not absorb this epiphany with composure. Speaking as an 18-year-old girl whose middle school years were marked by the likes of MySpace I feel as if I am very well educated on the topic of digital communication. I have experienced first hand the infectious, consuming nature of social media sites.
The internet allows me to instantly connect with my overseas relatives and at the same time sucks me into a vortex of procrastination. It would appear that somewhere between windows 98 and the ipad3 we as a society have manipulated ourselves into a constant state of flux; endlessly devoted to the idea that we must always be connected. Digital Libraian and fournder of the Internet Archive Brewster Kahle explains, “A lot of our brain, a lot of our worth to the world, a lot of our memories, are actually not in our heads anymore.
They’re actually in the Web, in the weave, in the interconnections, the friends that we can touch at a moment’s notice. That’s who makes us powerful. “ It would appear that for most of us technology is no longer just a tool. It is a family photo album, it’s our workspace, it’s dinner with friends at six. Teenagers change their profile page to reflect their ever-changing adolescent identities. Mothers are swapping recipes and parenting advice online. Singles are reaching out, exposing who they are in search for love.
Businessmen are uploading their resumes virtually in order to climb the corporate ladder. Technology has become inherent to the way in which we function daily. As this urgency to contact one another grows so to does the need to disconnect. Things are not as intimate as they once were. It would seem that we’re almost always in a public space even from the privacy of our homes. This idea that we are always connected is in reality a false problem. You can turn the switch off, unplug, shutdown and so on. When is the last time you went without a piece of technology?
Why we do rely on technology like an emotional crutch, supporting our need to interact? Technology will continue to rapidly grow and so too will knew and wonderful ways to connect globally. With this we must train ourselves. It is a hard truth, but we do not need to know what everybody is doing at every point of the day. It is a matter of quality vs. quantity. Sometimes you have to step away from the faceless monitor, let your IPhone run flat, stop sharing life so candidly and instead enjoy the simplicities