Our planet needs more than six hours to detox digitally.
Smartphones and social media feel less natural by the day. The obvious sense of connection is brilliant and magical. The joy of being seen and supported is uniquely human. Access to anything and anyone at any time is revolutionary.
But for years now, the trade-offs feel big, like ones we don't yet understand. The palm up, screen in hand, and eyes fixed down are now spotted in every line, dinner table, and public human experience. We hide from life's quiet moments by retreating to a virtual world of anywhere but here, anytime but now, anyone but those near us.
The most sobering of all is confronting one's own complicity. Accepting that the sickness has taken root. Reflecting on our children, their rights, and their sense of self as they age. Realizing the social world you want them to inherit is not what you currently inhabit.
It feels like we are plugged in and checked out. Disconnected from present situations and connected to the future identity, those situations help us create. Outsourcing hard-fought personal happiness to the easy validation of outside likes and views.
Traveling the world only to stream it with those at home. Finding solace out in nature, only to story it step by step. Can we no longer see something for its own sake? Hike something for our own memory?
Be somewhere and be the sole witness? Be alone, and be ok?
In an effort to express authenticity, we often curate a managed identity. Swapping out originality for a pre-baked cake of sameness.
Intimacy gives way to voyeurism as we sell out our sacred spaces for applause in the public square.
The producer and consumer of content seem wedded to one another in a real-time romance of love and hate. Envy and admiration. Joy and sadness. Togetherness and aloneness
And yet, here we are, together, wading deep in a swim for balance in waters we hardly understand.
When in doubt: People > computers. Conversations > texts. Meeting neighbors > following strangers. Evening strolls > bedtime scrolling. Dinner table talking > real-time streaming. Personal memories > public knowledge.
Which reminds us…no, we don’t have WiFi.