Is technology leaving us all wound up?

It’s nothing less than amazing that you can communicate with someone anywhere in the world instantaneously at the push of a button. You can share music and videos. Businesses can facilitate meetings where one attendee is in one timezone and another in a totally different one.

An astounding 500 million people have Facebook accounts and it’s unlikely that you come across someone without a mobile phone. iPads [and other tablets] are commonplace- not just in the office- schools use them to aid learning.
I forgot my phone yesterday evening, and it was wonderful. So today I was a total maverick; I left my phone at home while we had a fantastic day trip. 
I must admit, I’m a bugger for checking texts and emails while out and about and Facebook is always terribly tempting. I didn’t realise how much I used my phone until I was without it. And the world didn’t implode. There were no emergencies. No urgent emails (unless you count Groupon). It was idyllic. 
When I was waiting outside the loos in the sunshine, I watched the world go by, instead of “checking in” or instagramming a photo of what I was doing. Which brings me to a question; do you ever think that people take photos for social media and forget to enjoy what they’re actually doing? We were at a museum today and (as I was phone-less and clearly in a position to judge) I noticed a couple taking turns to have their photo taken in front of various historic items. Neither one stopped to actually look at these items, or- God forbid- read about their significance. I thought it was a shame.
Today, while I was phone-less, I was relaxed. I felt free. I felt like I’d let my hair down for the first time in a while. I was alone with my girlfriend, like properly alone (in the busy MOSI in Manchester). It occurred to me that I’ve let technology get in the way of that in the past.
I’ve always been the one to respond straight away when a text bleeps through. I’m almost always connected to the Samsung device which allows me to contact anyone, anywhere; take snaps, edit those snaps, share those snaps; check my bank balance; navigate a route anywhere; find the nearest anything; anything I could ever possibly want or need to do it’s right on there. Not anymore.
On a quick research it seems this is a real thing. My observations (surprise, surprise) are not groundbreaking. An Anxiety UK study carried out at The University of Salford in 2012 found that 45% of people admitted to feeling anxious when they can’t access an email or Facebook notification. 
Is the obsession with keeping in touch with others meaning that we are really losing touch with ourselves?
As you know, I’m all for Social Media. I think it’s, mostly, fantastic. It’s a tool for business; it makes the world smaller so that friends can remain friends no matter where they are; it allows the sharing of exciting or interesting information (as well as ensuring that if a photo can reach 19 gazillion likes a little girl can have a kitten- I have considered this but don’t think I’m cute enough anymore, about 19 years late on the bandwagon for that). 
But perhaps we should all take some time out? We should all be unreachable sometimes, I bet it’d do us the world of good.

I was thinking all this and I wanted to get it onto my iPad and my blog. The irony.
So, and I’m sure my girlfriend will be elated to hear this; I’m going to concentrate on having a day a week phone-less, email-less, Facebook-less, blog-less. It will be just me and my inane chattering, like it’s the year 1999. Maybe I’ll finally get that Polaroid camera I’ve always wanted (or if it’s too expensive a couple of those disposable, printing’s included ones that I’ve used at festivals in the past). I’ll get a photo album and it won’t be a nightmare if my phone’s ever lost. I’ll know what to answer when someone asks “if you had to rescue one thing in a fire what would it be” (the album), and in years to come, I’ll have a real thing to hold in my hands and flick through with my kids and their kids and their kids kids on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea. 
So, who else is in?
Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s