Let's face it. We're in a collective love affair with technology. Every new gadget that appears is shinier, faster, sleeker, more beautiful, and comes with even more promises to connect us with all that we hold dear. From our important friends and family, to our work, to our passions and creativity, technology seems to only better our lives in all the important ways.
But, is it really? Is it really doing that: bettering our lives?
Planetary concerns of waste aside (do yourself a huge favor and watch these videos), is technology actually helping us to connect more deeply with ourselves and one another?
In a word, "no."
While it's true that the technology gives us the option of connecting to more people and passions than ever before, in fact we are experiencing a slow degradation and decline of our very humanity because of the technology. Humankind is in fact in the midst of a downward collective spiral that threatens to strip us of the very elements technology is supposed to enhance: our capacity for connection. And the ones affected the most are Gen Y and the upcoming Millenials.
Let me give you an example. Recently I spoke with a man whose children like to text each other - in the same room in the same house! What happened to rough-housing and playing ball?
Myopically, frantically checking emails as they arrive to our smartphones has become a national pastime - admit it - when that little gizmo tells you that "You've got Mail!" or a text, you're on it like a cheetah on a steak! (Ever notice how most of these messages are spam? Is your eyesight getting worse, like mine has been?).
Spreading ourselves thinner and thinner, while getting ourselves fatter and fatter, we are more distracted than ever from what really matters to most, the most. How often do we take the time to actually be present? To simply notice the color of a colleague's shirt, breathe, and be alive and aware in the moment?
Have you not noticed a gradual, but certain, shifting of your being, more and more towards mental activities, and less and less towards heart-based interactions? In fact, can we even claim that the connectivity our new technology provides is more meaningful, or merely more efficient? And between meaning and efficiency, which offers the greater level of satisfaction and "connection" in the true sense of the term?
Make no mistake. We are in an insipid, downward spiral of supposed connectivity with one another that is ironically leading towards greater and greater separation and isolation. The very thing that is supposed to unite us is, in fact, dividing us more and more with each new iteration of features.
The rope of our connection is fraying, and most of us don't even notice it. We're too busy facebooking on our smartphones. Excuse me, I've got an incoming text; I'll finish this article later... :)