I just had to share this video. How much do we depend on social media or the internet to connect or build a relationship with someone?
Most of the time, it seems using social media to build relationships is not really about building relationships at all. It’s simply a way to get out what information you want to be known, without taking the risks that are inherent any time you deal with anyone face to face–what if they have a question, what if they want to know more than you’re sharing, what if they have their own stuff to share with you? It’s a way to hide behind a screen (read any nasty comments lately?), save time, multi-task, and share with everyone at once without really sharing life with anyone in particular. It’s far more difficult to pull up a chair, look someone in the eye, and open yourself to another human being and gift them your–hopefully undistracted–time and attention. We don’t even stop to be tethered on the telephone anymore–remember the days when you *had* to sit to talk on the telephone, tied to the wall by a cord, before wireless? Technology definitely has its place in extraordinary circumstances (I’m happy for military families having Skype!), but let’s not fool ourselves over what all of that has taken the place of in the normal everydayness of life.
I’m glad the daddy in this video didn’t just prop up the phone in the crib and leave. But don’t we all do that sometimes, just prop up the kid(s)–or ourselves–with a device in order to avoid the pain and suffering of–um–parenting? Guilty as charged…our DVDs have been playing almost daily during our crazy moving time! Sometimes I think using this stuff is all about avoidance…not “connecting”.
What’s the balance? I dunno. I’m not even sure “balance” is something worthy to be sought after, unless what we’re trying to incorporate into our lives is worthy of that which it necessarily replaces. Easier? Sure. More profound? Seriously doubtful.
Could you (could I?) live without the internet for a week? A month? A year? Many of us would balk even for a day. Would you–would I–even allow the luxury of pondering and thinking slow thoughts and reading a few books to dog-ear and chatting with someone in private and…I know, this is almost unthinkable…spending any time at all being BORED? What would we lose? What would we gain?
Currently, I’m writing this while being distracted by the bats flying around outside of my window. Or is it the other way around? Is my being present in this time and space and place being distracted by the glow of the screen?
Questions and stuff to ponder. Hopefully by choice. In (ahem) our “spare time”…if that exists anymore.