In the modern world, the crazy technology that we are surrounded by means that we are all so much more connected, right? We can contact friends on the other side of the world at the touch of a button, we have a wealth of information at our fingertips and we can even know what people are doing without the need to ever even speak to them. But has all of this ‘connection’ really resulted in a deeper connection? Or are we more disconnected than ever before?
This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, but it wasn’t until I came to a small town in Spain, where the wifi connection is very poor, that I realised how disconnected I had actually become.
When I say technology I don’t just mean the internet, but also things like video games, TV and games on our iPhones. It got me thinking - what balance are we finding between having actual real life conversations with our friends, partners or family and sitting on the lounge watching TV in silence with our heads in our phones? What balance are we finding between sitting down and playing games with our children and just popping them in front of the TV or handing them an iPad? The world of face to face communication is becoming a thing of the past!
If you actually sit and think about it, it seems pretty ridiculous that we are often more connected with people far away from us, then the people we are sitting next to. We know what a Facebook friend has done that day but we haven’t even asked the people around us about their day. We look at other people’s photos of sunrises and beautiful landscapes instead of walking outside and seeing the world with our own eyes.
A few months ago I went away with my Mum, Aunty and Sister to a bush cabin where we had no phone reception and no TV. It was interesting to see the reaction from them when we first arrived. What if something happens? What are we going to do? No TV? Really? We had to get creative and rather than having our faces in our phones we played board games, went on bush walks, had long, interesting conversations and just enjoyed each other’s company. I think I got to know my Aunty more in those two days than I had in my whole life. By the end of the weekend, everyone was so relaxed and we were trying to think of ways that we could stay there in this sheltered world forever. We didn’t want to go back to the ‘real world’.
I accept that technology is one of those necessary evils. We live in a world where we need it for so many things. But don’t forget to turn it off! Facebook and emails and Farmville and Geordie Shore will all be there tomorrow, waiting for you with open arms, ready to suck you back into that crazy virtual world.