We’ve been friends for so long, but I can’t do it anymore. You’ve been so good to me, but I need some space. I’m sorry; we can no longer be together.
While the above sentiment is sad, it’s even more pathetic that it was said to an iphone. Yes, an iphone.
I recently downgraded from the infamous iphone to a regular, non-“smart” phone. Why? While the iphone is a great devise, it became like another appendage to me. I was always on it, always using it, always getting cramping in my fingers from scrolling all the live long day! So one day I decided we needed to part. Technology is fantastic, but being addicted to it is not. I said goodbye and eliminated another illusion of busyness.
Illusions of busyness?
You’ve probably seen them in action: headphones, e-readers, cell phones, lap tops, ipads/pods, radios, etc. There’s nothing wrong with them and I will admit I am guilty of overusing them all, ten-fold, plus one. But it’s amazing how things designed to make us more productive and connected often…. don’t.
Do you ever see a kid walking down the street with headphones on and he looks so sad and lonely? Ever been on Facebook all day and yet you feel so disconnected from people? Ever felt like you never get a vacation from your job, because all your devices (computer, cell-phone, etc.) keep you working non-stop? Ever seen a family out and about and the parents are on their phones, the kids are playing a handheld video game or texting and no one speaks a word to one another? It’s kind of creepy.
I’m not saying we should toss them all, or even telling you to give up your iphone. How else are we supposed to share the next viral video of a puppy or baby doing something cute? I’m just wondering if maybe we need to take more vacations from these illusions of busyness.
I remember someone, I think it was my grandma who once said, “you know what, sometimes when I’m waiting at the doctor’s office I’ll just talk to people.” Not a monumental statement, but to a shy, Generation Y, introvert it was shocking. Talk to people? To strangers? Wonder if I want to read People magazine?! I thought about it for awhile. Okay, I’ve made casual conversation before, maybe a sentence or two. Silence is awkward and I mostly keep myself busy in those situations so I don’t have to talk to people. Oh dear. That’s it.
I’m sure people have hid behind conversations about the weather, books, etc., but hiding behind technology? Yikes. It’s never made us feel more secure or connected to anyone. Never made us more popular or get more things done. It’s just made us more … lonely.
So maybe it’s time for us to disconnect from some illusions of busyness for awhile. No, you don’t have to put all your stuff on Craiglist. It’s the little decisions that make the biggest differences. Maybe just less Facebook and more taking your family for walks this summer; less gaming on your phone and more talking to your spouse about the day; less watching reality shows for five hours a night and more inviting people over for dinner. Maybe our kids will learn how to play again (and I don’t mean on the Playstation 3) and we’ll replace some illusions of busyness with connecting (without a modem) to those we love.
Just a thought.