Life in a Digital Age
We have become so concerned with capturing those special moments in life that they never really happen…
Go to a concert - look at the crowd - what’s the first thing you see? Next time you’re at a birthday party, when you sing happy birthday - what happens? Watch a person walking to work, eating lunch at a cafe, waiting at the doctors office - what are most of them doing? They are busy living life inside a digital cage: tweet-blog-insta-Fb-youtube-vine-ing. Taking a photo of that amazing meal, recording the whole 2 hour set of their favourite band, catching up on their newsfeed, watching another ‘viral’ clip about some random ‘i be like this when that happens’.
We get so caught up in tweet-blog-insta-fb-youtube-vine-ing that we miss life in front of us
Social Networks allow us to be more connected than ever. Think about life 100 years ago: you waited two weeks to hear back from your friends across the state. Today, you wait 15 seconds. Funny enough though, even with this unprecedented access to community - we are less engaged than ever. We spend more time photographing our meals than we do savouring them, and more time reading our newsfeed than asking a friend how they really are. We seem too busy recording the gig to actually sing and dance and enjoy ourselves - does that not sound terribly wrong? Seriously - when was the last time you pulled out your phone and sat down and watched a video clip from a gig 6 months ago?
Even with today's unparalleled access to each other, we are more disconnected than ever
It is a culture of sensationalism that would have us tweet more, capture more, talk up more stories - creating a hyper reality of divine moments that make our life look more than it really is. It is no small deception that occurs when you believe that in order to be more connected you need to be more active digitally. In our digital chaos we rob ourselves of authentic relationships and the beautiful mess of everyday moments. So what is the purpose of social media and technology and how do you use it well? Rather than allowing it to rob you of your time and engagement; thus making you poor and less connected than ever - harness it and use it well and it will make you rich.
It is no small deception that occurs when you believe that in order to be more connected you need to be more active digitally
The key is control. Do you really need to record a whole song at a concert? Do you desperately need to check your newsfeed for updates the fourth time this hour? Do you have to take another photo of your egg and lettuce sandwich? Learn to identify how technology and social media is controlling you and kill it. Try these few ideas and see how you go…
1/ Turn off push notifications for all social media on portable devices for a week. Check your Social media once a day - no more - see how much you missed.
2/ When at a social event (live gig, friends party, family celebration) turn your phone off. Yeah OFF. (i heard the gasps) Enjoy yourself. Don’t turn it on until the next morning. voila!
3/ Instead of turning the TV on after a long day at work - pour a glass of wine and pick up a book - so you can read after all.
4/ Before you post anything on a digital environment - run it by your spouse/house mate - and ask them, “am I wasting my time?”
Let me know how you go in the comments!