I have thought about the fact that we are all digital multi-taskers, and I am 100% guilty. In fact, I’m probably doing it right now! 🙂 I have been making an effort to shut the computer, close facebook, close chat, turn off the TV(although I don’t watch much TV), put my phone on silent… even if it’s just for a couple hours a day (when I’m not riding my bike). Admittedly, it’s hard for me. Even on bike rides, I sometimes find myself checking my phone. Can we say it? ADDICT. Point finger. Digital addict.
We got the internet when I was in middle school. I used to email back and forth with my “soccerfreak13” email and play Quake against my friend over the ‘net. I try to imagine what things were like for people one or two generation ahead of me, where they actually went through school/college, and even started their real job without cell phones or internet. I remember when I got my first cell phone. My family shared this brick of a phone while I was in high school, but in college I got my own.
I think that the ‘net keeps us more connected in a lot of ways. I mean, look at all of you wonderful readers I connect with, I look at the people I connect with on facebook and twitter, and it is HUGE. However, I wonder if the computer and the phone also disconnect us from those who are closest to us. Sure, we can be chatting with 3 or 4 people at once, updating our facebook status, writing a blog post, texting, and listening to a TV show, all at the tap tap of your fingertips on the keyboard. However, what about those people who are physically next to you? I believe that if we are unable to disconnect for at least some amount of time, we lose that very important personal interaction with our present flesh and blood friends. What about at dinner when you are texting, answering your phone, watching the news with your computer open at the coffee table?
The digital era has also commanded a new expectation from everyone around us. For example, if you take a vacation from your work, you are still expected to “check in” and be available over email. If you don’t answer your cell phone, people get frustrated. If you don’t answer a friend’s text in a timely manner, they think you’re mad at them… or in matters of love/flirtatious relationships, if your text goes unanswered, you get that lump in your throat thinking something is wrong. … but I do love texting! 🙂
I have been trying to embrace things I love that aren’t digital and hit the “pause” button (although clearly I spend way more time online than I do NOT online). Answer: partake in all the outdoor activities I love, play guitar, read books, write, go out with friends, organize, read more, focus more on one thing at a time, focus on deepening relationships with people I can look in the face when I talk to them. I’m still not very good at it, but I am making an effort to not lose myself (and someone like me who is very connected to my online community), well that’s difficult. On facebook, a lot of people said if they couldn’t get online, they’d go ride. I love all of our enthusiasm for our bikes, but you can take that to another level – are we addicted to our bikes? Shouldn’t there be other things in your life that you love as much as bike riding? That’s just a for instance. I might go to far as to say that as avid cyclists, we may lack the certain things that make us well-rounded (not condemning it, just thinking out loud). There’s nothing wrong with eat, ride, sleep, eat – but are we missing out on other very important life experiences? Probably.
What has provoked this post? A friend of mine actually posted this link on his facebook (oh, the irony! and the irony that it’s online!) but here it is. It is 1.5 hours, but you can watch it in segments if you don’t have the time. The segments are right above the box playing the show (it took me awhile to find that out).
Click here. I highly recommend watching part of it.
Makes those gears in my head spin furiously… how ’bout you?