The more I get connected, the more disconnected I feel.
You see, we are hyper-connected. We are so connected or capable of connecting with anyone, anywhere, at any time, that we have little to no time to actually go deep with anyone. We post our “best life” on social media because we want everyone to see how happy or successful we are. We over-work ourselves to have the means to get the things the world tells us will make us happy. We over-schedule ourselves so that we can show the world how important we are or how popular we are.
We are more concerned with breadth than depth. We want the followers, the shares, the notifications, the likes, and the retweets. We want the superficial and the shiny. We don’t want the real and the dirty. Because the real and dirty take time, energy, and effort. The real and dirty take interactions that go beyond the surface and in our culture, that makes most of us uncomfortable.
We are so connected that we have become disconnected in our relationships with others.
My son was asking me last night about the “olden” days as he calls them. Full disclosure, his perception of the time period of the “olden” days and mine is significantly different. He is also 6, so I cut him a little slack.
He started asking about technology. Did you have a refrigerator? Yes. Did you have a TV that was in color? Yes. Did you have a phone that you took everywhere? No
It was the last question that gave me pause.
I told him that when I was his age, we simply had a home phone. It was not something that could be carried around. It stayed in one spot, and the only thing you could do with the phone was to dial or answer calls. You couldn’t check e-mail or social media. You couldn’t even check the scores or watch Youtube videos. He was confused. I could see the wheels turning in his brain.
“Dad, what would happen if someone would call while you weren’t home?”
I told him that they would have to leave a message, call later, or sometimes, just stop by the house. If we were gone from the house, we simply weren’t reachable. We didn’t worry about work e-mails, didn’t occupy our time with social media feeds, and didn’t entertain ourselves by looking at a screen.
We connected and we did it in a face to face manner. It was meaningful. It was real. It wasn’t always pretty. It wasn’t always easy. But, it was worth it.
The surface of the water is pretty, but it’s what is below the surface that we find the true treasures.