I have lived a long time. Most of my life was lived without the Internet, smart phones, Outlook, Facebook, Instagram, and, heaven forbid, Twitter. Where would our president be without it? And all of my life I was totally fine without it. I remember the first computer we ever had, back in the eighties. It was a monster looking plastic box with a screen and a whole lot of learning came along with it. I never had a personal email until my oldest son was around sixteen years of age. Did I ever really need an email address?
Recently I approached an Autism specialty school for a family and the intake person said ” what is their email address?” I told her they didn’t have one. The voice on the other side said “now that’s a problem…they have to have an email because that is how everyone communicates from the school to the parent about the child”. This goes right along with my thought process recently. My fight for the in person response.
I am making an effort to walk away from social media. Most of my waking hours are spent in front of a screen at work. My neck and head aches have gotten out of hand. My eyes bother me. My heart breaks when I see posts in FB that exclude me. Everyone appears to have the perfect This, the perfect That. It’s too much. Then I tend to think about how fake things appear to be. Friends aren’t really friends. They are characters on a screen that I end up modeling my thoughts and feelings after.
Then there’s this thing that allows anyone to say and do anything on media. I can de-friend anyone and have. I can cheer the stranger with the same attitude about global warming on Twitter. I can see the person I thought was one of my best friends on Instagram though I never see her in person any more.
The break up from social media has just begun. I am a neophyte at it. It’s hard work. It requires more effort to meet in person or pick up the phone or heaven forbid, a meaningful hand written letter. But I fear for us as humans. We are going in the wrong direction. Technology is changing us. Our connections. Our love.