OUT and about, standing at a bus stop, shopping, sipping coffee at the local café – we all are connected. But not like ten years ago. We are all now connected to the Internet; hooked to the matrix if you like. No matter what generation you hail from we all have our heads bowed to our smart phones, laptops or tablets. It has our attention more than any religion has managed to gain our worship. We kneel at the altar of the Internet and the information direction it provides.
We are no longer bored and distance poses no problem as long as you have a device and an Internet connection. Is this life at the click of a button with no brainpower necessary? We could justify this if we were using our brainpower for other tasks but why bother? Google has the answer and you can guarantee someone somewhere has already asked your question.
There has been some observation into our attachment to our devices and the Internet with results showing withdrawal without our Internet routines. I, for one, thought I could claim freedom from the ‘netters’ attachment until I found myself lost in Spain. My Wi-Fi connection was non-existent and data roaming would eat my bank balance within a day. I must say I had not realized my reliance on Google Maps to find my way.
My panic was so great that when I did find a Wi-Fi connection in a café I rang my brother, who calmly responded “what’s wrong with a map, the old fashioned way of finding your way around? You won’t get lost, ask someone.” The mere suggestion stopped me in my tracks. I had not thought about a map or even the possibility of asking someone. My God, has my head been stuck bowed to my smartphone? The fear of looking stupid and not important may have reduced our interaction with others.
I had not seen much since I had arrived in Spain and this connectionless situation placed my phone back 10 years. It was now just a phone again: no email, no Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Viber or other apps. I was going to have to survive without my phone for a week. I must say it was liberation. There was a silence and calmness I have not felt in years. No urgent beeping, no panic to reply to that text message. No need to use the phone because there was a silence in conversation or awkwardness because I was alone.
A refreshing experience; been lost. I felt I had actually seen the city with my own eyes and not through a camera lens. There was no sense of urgency to share my experiences on every app going! I absorbed the sights, smells and let my eyes record the experience and used my words describe my adventure. The Internet is wonderful but like all good things, balance is required. Why do we need to be plugged into every technology going? As a very wise woman once told me “You are a human being, not a human doing”.
Photos c/o imageban.ru, weheartit.com