I believe there are two sides in every story. I know there is a ying for every yang. That’s why I feel that the same thing can be said for the Internet. I look at the last 10 years and feel the Internet has rose to dizzying new heights. Almost everyone has access to high speed-internet anytime and anywhere no matter where you are in the world. Almost everyone I know all have a mobile device of some kind. The Internet has definitely changed how we live. And because of this we often see people in a zombie-like daze while looking at their gadgets’ screen. Consumed. Disconnected and unplugged from what’s right in front of them.
I don’t know about you, but as a kid, I remember playing outside a lot. The adventure was out there. The neighborhood kids and I would jump, run, shout, cry, laugh, and make memories that we cherish while exploring the outdoors. Looking at the adventure my kids experience it confined to the four corners of a screen. It seems that everything today is sucking us into a virtual world rather in the real one. I have one child that was born prior to the iPhone and one that is growing up enraptured by it. There schools have discontinued books for iPads. I wonder if this trend continue until playgrounds become obsolete?
We are becoming the servants in thought, as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us.
I’m not anti-technology. I love my iPhone, my iPad, my eBooks, my Facebook and Twitter friends. Nor am I against progress. All of this is vital for communication and society. We are very social society and we carried this trait even into ‘the information age.’ We have created social media sites and we are now up to date with our friends’ every move. We take pictures of ourselves from the time we wake up until we are about to go to sleep and post them in every social networking site possible. Even the food that we eat is not safe. Last week my family and I were eating out and right before we ate we prayed. My son noticed right after we were done, that a group of people beside us who received their food right after we did, didn’t pray but rather took pictures of the food first as if it is against the law to eat without posting pictures of your first. We love our friendships and try to have as many friends as possible on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google (T.G.I.F.). And because of that we spend a lot of time on our devices so that we don’t lose touch. We send our best wishes for every occasion by short messages, someecard, and pictures instead of sending cards or posting cards. Far to many times, we indulge in the online relationships more than who’s right in front of us trying to get our attention; like I explored in my posts Twitter and Facebook are a waste of time. Wouldn’t it be nice if we have as many “real” friends as online ones?
The other day, I saw a commercial for an Internet provider where the company claims that their Internet connection service can make the family bond stronger. In reality, more and more families lose the real “connection” with each other. Almost every member of a modern family tend to be absorbed with their own individual gadgets, each one bowing to his or her electronic gadgets from dusk until dawn. I can imagine how Norman Rockwell would paint his famous “Thanksgiving Dinner” today; each member around the table seduced by the electromagnetic emissions of some sort of device. Of course, this does not happen to all families, but the numbers are disturbingly high. I hope that real family bonding will have a major comeback.
Men have become the tools of their tools.
A friend told me once that he dreaded the day when children no longer know what a library is. I know it was just a joke, but it made me think. My generation was lucky enough to experience both the times when the Internet still was not popular and now that it almost reached a religious status. Students used to look for information in books, magazines, and publications of all types to finish their homework and other school-related activities. Now, the entire knowledge of the human race is at every person’s fingertips. Some conservative educators even say that the Internet makes students lazy.
The Internet and how we operate online is now on par with money in terms of giving us a moral dilemma. It is now a source of both good and evil. It is up to each of us on how we use it. In ancient times, before knowledge freed our minds, people believed that the world was flat and it had corners. So, why do we use knowledge to trap ourselves within the four corners of a screen?
In world filled with distractions, do you find that it’s hard to be intentional and be consumed with those around you? Checkout my book Framing Faith and sign up for exclusive updates and give aways.