A few weeks ago my Macbook pro died. Literally, conked out. I work for myself so this was an actual problem. It was so sudden the initial shock made led me straight to denial. "If I leave it a few minutes, it'll start back up. Sometimes these things just go to sleep. We do work them hard.' Needless to say it didn't just miraculously come back to life, but I was lucky enough to get an appointment at the Genius bar the next day where they revived it.
We spend a lot of our time strapped in, consuming, connected and charging. We're living in a world that's driven by technology and we drive technology too. We've lost some of our most treasured shops on the high street (RIP Woolworths and HMV) because we'd rather stay in the matrix and shop than step out into the real world to do so. I'm guilty of that too like everyone else, and was reminded of the true levels of online shopping, when I went to buy a dress from ASOS using next day delivery, which failed to arrive (and never arrived, thanks to bad customer service from the courier and online store) and couldn't speak to a human outside of the computer.
We tweet our every movement, take pictures and instagram our every meal and moan about and philosophise on our every thought. Idle moments are rarely filled by reading, reasoning or silence or but instead we swipe, touch, click and press. It's even getting to our younger generations. We've seen the recent reports of toddlers being addicted to iPad's. My baby cousin is one year old and frequently picks up any phone in her sight and mimics us tapping away.
I recently had two of my friends over who I met in college 11 years ago and we reminisced on the amazing times we had growing up. We spoke about how we were all just happy and content being ourselves, experiencing each other as human beings not worried about clothes, not being overly concerned with new trends and technology besides MSN messenger (RIP MSN). We allowed ourselves to connect and enjoy each other on a spirit level without focusing on anything else. From African to Turkish, English to Arab we saw nothing but the essence of that person and took that as it were, taking the good with the bad. Then again, this was a decade ago before technology begged you to scrutinise, analyse and criticise everyones' everything. I don't quite know when this happened but thanks to twitter specifically, everyone is judge and jury. We even comment on peoples personal opinion and choices, which is one of the only things we, as people can really hold sacred. It's like living behind the keyboard transforms us into someone else, or so we believe. People have internet persona's that let them be a version of themselves where the ego reigns supreme and is now seeping into the real world leaving real communication and connection null and void. I saw this (on Facebook, ha) and it's very true - Relationships these days are harder now because conversations become texting, arguments become phone calls, and feelings become status updates.
Of course, the internet serves us in many positive ways - we can easily network for business and work, gain and gather information instantaneously and connect with friends and family where we may not have previously been able to, especially those in other parts of the country or the world. Essentially though, human beings thrive off connection, interaction and communion, spirit to spirit. This is something I need to remind myself on a daily basis but something we all need to bare in mind. We too readily have our eyes and fingers stuck to our phones, tablets and devices and no longer pay attention and take time to cherish each every day tangible communication, and we can end up missing out on a lot. The internets can only provide others with versions of ourselves and ourselves, versions of other people. No matter how much we can think we know someone online, nothing compensates a tone and infexion of a voice, body language, someones mood or attitude - aspects we can only gauge from person to person intercommunication.
While all of our gadgets are now quite necessary in the ever changing, digital world we're in but it's important we learn to log out, disconnect, switch off and remember the connections we have, aside from our Broadband and WiFi.