• The Un-Social Network

    Over the weekend, a friend called to ask if they could join me for a walk across the John Ringling Bridge.  I was delighted and eager to spend some time catching up while getting a little fresh air and exercise, so we set a time.  We met the next morning bright and early and the day greeted us with beautiful blue skies and temperatures in the 70’s.  Perfect…or so I thought.  Within the first 5 minutes of our walk together, my friend received a phone call.  Answering, he began to talk about this problem and that issue, during which time he also received a text message.  He then placed the first caller on speaker phone so that he could now text this new person while still talking to the other, as well as walking with me. In the midst of all of this, he took a picture and posted it to Facebook, after which he tweeted that he was “Walking… #Ringling Bridge”.   I watched as my friend began to disappear before my very eyes.  He was fast becoming the invisible man.  He wasn’t present with me, he wasn’t present with the person who had called, and he wasn’t present for the person he was texting.  He was nowhere.  I began to wonder, “Is Social Media causing us to become UN-social?”  Could something designed to connect us actually be dividing us?  And what after all, is it that we are seeking as we stare endlessly into one little device or another?  

     

    Most likely we’ve all been guilty of it.   We sit across from one another at dinner and nervously check emails and texts, scan Facebook to see who’s done what. I see children younger and younger, never looking up or engaging with the world around them as their little eyes remain glued to the screen in their hands.  I wonder what the long-term effects will be. 

     

    When I was little, we would spend hours playing outdoors and using our imaginations. We explored and looked at insects and built forts, which I would highly recommend for any developing mind.  Today, it seems as though we are ever increasingly drawn into a world of “boxes” where many never experience the joy of walking through a forest, or dipping one’s feet into a cold stream or sleeping under the stars. I don't think people realize what they're missing!

     

    I think this little girl has it right.  A beautiful message I hope more of us can embrace.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

  • 1 comment

    Kudos for bringing up how we misconnect instead of connect. It keeps us from the present moment.

    Reply