We, as a global society, are more connected than we have ever been and yet at the same time, more isolated than ever. This statement is not news. This same general thing has been said, in so many words, many times by many people. We can sit in our homes with our chosen device and have chat or "face time" with someone on the other side of our planet. It is truly amazing and can be transformative. At the same time, we are sitting in our homes, communicating with a screen, not at an actual person. We're not walking on the beach together, telling stories about our most far reaching dreams or deepest fears. We're not breaking bread, drinking wine and all laughing at the same table (or floor) together. We're not touching, not hugging hello, not kissing goodbye. We're not crying enough into someone's arms while they tell us it's going to be okay. This is not okay. We are not trapped in a car for two days straight while on a family roadtrip to Jellystone and if we are, some parents are happy to cue up movie after movie for their children to watch in the backseat instead of talking to them; instead of looking out the window and pointing out the world to them for the first time. This is not okay.
Don't get me wrong, social networking and the web can be a complete game changer for good. If used in the right context, it can and will someday save our planet from ourselves, environmentally speaking. I am sure of it. But I think from a healthy human point of view, these amazing tools we've created need to be used wisely. We need to be conscious of, like everything else, balance.
I'm as guilty, at times, as anyone of getting imbalanced with work. I am completely connected. Iphone, Ipad, Instagram, FB, whatever is the right tool for the job. Apple's got me wrapped. The first step is knowing you have a problem though, right?
I don't see this growing tide of social media, mobile devices and web of digital connectedness changing, so I think it is up to us as individuals, as friends and family to make that conscious choice to step back a little. Create an intervention. Go outside. Go say hello. Be part of our community.
I believe in potlucks. There can never be too many potlucks in one's life. We have lots, but still not enough, so I say, let there be more please.
“Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
― Ruth Reichl