We text, Facebook, Skype, play video's, go on social sites, but seldom do we get together, unless it is a Bar Mitzvah, wedding, holiday. We have become a nation of avoidance. Controlling our time. Controlling the environment.
The Millennials prefer virtual reality over the real thing. We can challenge ourselves without defeat. We do gaming, that gives us a sense of power. We connect on Match.com without having to feel rejection. Soon we will have buttons that talk for us implanted in our bodies. I better be careful to joke of such thinks because that can come true.
If our cell phone rings we act like it is an emergency and pick up immediately regardless of where we are or what we are doing. God forbid we call back later. After all we need to be connected at all times. So much so that we miss out on our real lives. It is as if the important thing is not what you are doing now, but constantly being connected to not miss out on something that might be happening elsewhere. Our reality is changing.
We take these same people everywhere. In the supermarket, we are talking on our cell phones, even driving, although we shouldn't, we need to know who is calling, even eating out we are texting. Our phone is more important than experiencing anything new.
Now you can even trace people where they are. So you never leave home and are never alone. Yes technology has taught us how to navigate without getting lost. We can e-mail important information. We can have acquaintances through Facebook that we would never talk to otherwise.
But we can also order clothes on line. Get groceries on line. Buy books on line. What about picking up a book and skimming through it in the library. What about looking at fresh fruit and deciding which to pick. I know I like my fruit more ripe. Will a computer know that? The other day a woman hit me in my ankle with a shopping cart only because her phone call was more important than watching where she was going. I miss the face to face contact. The smile, saying hello. People are even plugged in when they exercise there was a time when I said hello to my neighbors as we are out walking, now the music is more important than the small smile. The moment or personal connection is gone.
I guess with technology and change there is always a price for advancement. Till we can't feel or see we should be able to enjoy eye contact and conversations with other people. Being part of a family, a community, or organization, is what is most important and should be more important than any technology. We even don't eat together anymore. Some families have TVs in every room and they watch their favorite shows while eating alone. And text family members from the other room instead of getting up to simply speak in person.
My friends, family relationships are dying; marriages are dying; parent and child relationships are as distant as they have ever been, and it has a lot to do with technology. I challenge you to give up devices during certain times of the day. Have a basket where you deposit them as you walk in the door, and just spend some quality time. Eat together. Share your day. Smile. Look into eachothers eyes, not through a screen. Make dinner together, wash dishes, go for a walk, walk the dog, fold laundry. Do it together. Honestly it does not matter what you do, but you will be surprised at the bonding that comes out of these experiences.
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