Seriously. Who isn’t now days? I mean, I know there are a few who stay away from social media, but majority of the world are connected, virtually–or at the very least, connected by technology.
It’s amazing to me that only five years ago I gave in and purchased an iPhone because just two years before that I thought my LG sidekick was the coolest phone ever. It’s amazing to me that just ten years ago, netbooks weren’t even thought about and now days, everyone wants a tablet of some sort. It’s amazing to me, that in the short decade, things have vastly changed in the world; we went from communicating by email, to text, to Skype, to MySpace, to Facebook, and now … everything.
In some ways, I’m grateful for this. Communicating has never been easier. Within seconds you can see how a friend is doing by skimming their Facebook page. You can have a video chat with someone on the opposite end of the world. You can experience a virtual tour of somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit, but haven’t had the change. It’s amazing the things technology can help us accomplish. I am able to have an opportunity at earning my degree because I can work a full time job and attend classes or do classwork when I have downtime.
And yet, in some ways, I worry. Society seems to have forgotten that the best things, the lasting things, aren’t available upon demand. That lasting friendships are friendships conducted in person. A ten minute phone conversation. A three page hand written letter. A day shopping together. Society seems to be more demanding, expecting things to just happen. The luxuries the internet provides, the OnDemand attitude we seem to be developing, worries me just a bit. Having worked in customer service all my life, I’ve notice a shift. People are getting more demanding. People seem to feel they’re entitled. People are starting to have expectations that exceed the ability to provide.
While technology has made communicating instant and entertainment OnDemand, the real world with real people aren’t so instant and it seems we’ve forgotten that. The people who are upset because they can’t go on a boat tour because it’s dangerous so they complain and expect personnel to fix the weather, to “make things right.” The people who feel waiting two weeks for a book to arrive, from a different island, free of charge, is too slow. The people who feel entitled to use a wireless internet connection simply because it pops up on their devices and cannot fathom why the owner of the shop doesn’t just give out the password.
It worries me, at times, because it feels we’ve forgotten how to be grateful. Grateful that the captain and boat crew doesn’t want to endanger the lives of their forty something passengers because the weather can turn nasty on the ocean. Grateful that the book that’s heading their way is free of charge and grateful for the excitement that comes with patiently waiting for something because it makes it that much sweeter when it arrives. Grateful that not connecting to the internet for your lunch meal encourages you to talk with family or friends, to foster connections and allows you to provide your child and your family with your undivided attention.
Technology is amazing. It’s wonderful. It allows us to be efficient. It makes life easier. I just hope we remember that living is not done through computers or the internet. Living getting out there, experiencing things not experienced. Living is taking a moment to pause your the chaos in your mind and just be, just feel.
Living is being alive and alive means participating in life.
It is my hope that we never forget that and if, by chance, we do it is my hope that we can remember it.