First of all, sorry that it has been months since the last blog post. I’m sure two or three of you are going through withdrawal. I started a new job, moved, and life got busy. It won’t happen again.. at least not for a couple of months.
You may not realize it but right now, I am with you in a way… thanks to the internet. I can communicate with you without being in the same room. Books do the same thing but the interweb takes it to a whole other level. I’ve said before that I love the internet, and I think it’s making us all smarter. But I’m realizing that it’s making us lazier and less alive in some ways. It’s replacing many aspects of our lives. The internet helps us find information in a second. It entertains us, allows us to socialize, helps us do things like pay bills, shop and find recipes, news, and weather. We even experience events or places through the internet. We can now interact with our homes and cars through the internet thousands of miles away. Basically, the internet is allowing us to do more and more of the things that make us modern-day humans, and it’s kind of sad. Smart phones and tablet computers only exacerbate the problem. We’re becoming “interbeings.” We live much of our lives through the internet. One day when they develop technology to hook up our brains to it, we won’t need our bodies.
I am just as guilty and perhaps more guilty than the next person of living part of my life through my computer screen and keyboard. I have become adept at getting things done on-line. It makes my life more efficient. Why write a check, address and stamp an envelope, put it in the mailbox when I can set up automatic on-line payments straight from my checking account? Why go to the mall to buy something if within a few keystrokes and clicks, I can have it delivered straight to my door? It doesn’t make sense to go manual when we are all so busy and when the busyness of so many jobs and family lives gives us barely a second to spare.
But perhaps the internet’s time-wasting capabilities make us more dependent on the internet to leverage its time-saving capabilities. Without the internet, nobody would waste hours on Facebook and then have to rush to get things done. It’s analogous to people who drive more fuel-efficient vehicles drive more because they can afford to. The time saving aspects of the interet allow us to use it more to get entertained or to waste time.
When I was younger, people used to waste time by watching tv or by playing outside. Now we don’t even have to reach for a remote control let alone walk to the television to “change the channel.” At work, people chit-chatted when they needed to get away from their work. Now I find myself web-surfing for a break. Work and pleasure and learning and socialization are all happening through the same place, your computer, tablet, or phone screen.
Some of us forget that we can’t experience everything the authentic way, like the smells and breeze of being in a park, the way a car feels when you test drive it, the mood one gets when surrounded by a crowd of people who are laughing in a comedy club, the way it feels to run a race.
Luckily, I like to be around people and the internet doesn’t replace my social need to interact with people (although it has enabled me to get to know many friends.) I can understand how an anti-social person might never leave the internet.
all interbeings. We are getting to the
point where we need the internet to function as humans. I sure hope the internet doesn’t go down
permanently. We won't know what to do with our internet-enabled devices or our minds or our bodies.