The Awkward Marriage of Digital & Humanity

unplug

Forgetting your phone is the new island get-away for some— a deserted island for others.

Once in a blue moon you’ll meet a person who completely lacks an online presence; that 25-year-old information generation maverick that somehow slipped through the cracks, avoiding the formulation of a digital identity all together.  No Facebook, Twitter, G-mail, or Instagram? No results on a Google search? They must be a modern conquistador. Either that or a damn ghost.

And then you have the whole digital privacy debate— Interesting. Contentious. But I’m not going down that road for now.

Hear me out. This is an important issue that involves us all.

Last year I attempted to start a trend by flailing around with a circa 2005 flip-phone. There are few things more satisfying than that moment when you flip it open with your thumb to answer a call. This retro trend never caught on in the midst of 3&4G data capabilities but nevertheless, something really got to me when I was going backwards in the evolution technology.  I began to loathe humans in social gatherings that were comprehensively engaged with their phones rather than the world around them.

Mobile, tablet, bluetooth, google glass. Whatever digital platform it is— use it to change the world. Don’t let it change you. 

Speaking to the frontier of social media platforms— It’s the place where you can create your own personally ascribed identity; the place where your authentic you and your online profile are rarely in agreement. As we approach the end of our first decade living our lives vicariously through synthetic social media profiles, we are faced with consequences that were unforeseeable when our online lives were first conceived.

Letting go of modesty and reservation, we have allowed digital platforms to magnify our ego. And we’re all guilty as charged to varying degrees. Especially me, the hypocrite blogger.

As we progressively disconnect ourselves from nature we run further and further away from the raw substance of what makes us human. We sit on our couch and seek friendships. We spend our evenings watching television rather than looking at the stars. We chase individualized dreams with the end-thought of empowering the poverty stricken world after we master digital technology. We are turning our species indoors. We’ve replaced elegance and dedication with grungy comfort and convenience.   We have ridiculous glitches in the technological system we have created such as pandemic vitamin-D deficiencies, obesity and depression. We are processing ourselves further and further away from the organic life forms that we truly are.

And all I want is for digital to turn the volume down so I can feel my heart beat in rhythm with the beautiful world around me.

In attempt to connect we have turned ourselves inward.

In desire of depth we have shaped relationships more superficial.

In our new world of digitized relationships, publicized personal information and paradoxically mounting individualization, we need to look at the path we are projecting towards. Even though we are in the midst of spitting out groundbreaking technological breakthroughs at exponential speeds, there is a growing inner discontent with the world we are building. We have this subliminal desire to connect with the earth that we are part of.  Our relationships with nature and one another diminish a little more with each new digital emergence.

The next visionary revolution won’t be the newest Ipad or smartphone application. It will be something that unplugs us; something that allows humanity to feel our hearts beat in widespread synchronicity. It will be something that turns our heads towards the stars.

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