The very thing that helps my business to grow can single handedly destroy my personal relationships and reduce my real life to an isolated existence. Yup, I’m talking about technology.
Smart phones, social media, texting, Instagram, selfies. The list is endless.
While I LOVE what social media has done for my business, I HATE what it is doing to our personal lives. In short … I’m over it!
I’m over watching people bump into things as they walk because they are looking at their phone. I’ve had it with going to dinner with friends and sitting there while they check their phones for a better conversation. I’m over not living in the moment with the people who happen to be in the same room. Clearly, the very thing that connects us to everything is isolating us from everyone else. Who is the master and who is the slave?
On a recent trip to Denver I planned a well-earned visit with my sister from another mother. Some down time to enjoy the city I left a few years ago and some of the dearest friends I left behind.
As we drove to Susan’s house my face was in my phone, trying to catch up on things I had missed. What I was missing was the beauty that Denver had always given me.
That’s when it hit me … I was a technology addict.
Here I was checking my email, social media sites, responding to people I don’t actually know regarding things that don’t actually involve me like it was my job. What I should have been doing was enjoying the blue skies, puffy clouds, the snow covered Rocky Mountains and the expansive greenery. Dear God Almighty. I felt like an idiot. A disappointment. I felt like somewhere along the way I lost the common sense I was born with.
And so I just stopped. During my visit I didn’t once check my phone, log on to my Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts or text anyone. I didn’t take one single picture to post. I checked out … so that I could check in.
And it was glorious.
We spent long hours on the couch drinking coffee, eating cinnamon toast sharing conversation, memories, and laughs. We went antique shopping, had dinners, drinks and lunches with friends, and enjoyed late night chats. We talked about real life, our families, our fears, hopes and dreams. And we cuddled her little dog as we watched the deer pass by her window.
When she dropped me off at the airport, my instinct was to check my phone. I didn’t. I smiled, bought a magazine, a bag of Doritos and sat myself down and had a conversation with the people that surrounded me. Beyond awesome.
I have been ridiculous. Life is for the living, not the texting and posting of it. And so, with that in mind, I’m sharing this super powerful video with you. It says it better than I ever could.
I think you will love it. Let me know your two cents, won’t you?
Joan Cooper - This really needed to be said !
While technology has helped civilization tremendously (cars, airplanes, medical surgeries, telephones (person to person live),I think this whole technology thing is going to destroy civilization (if we ever had it). The picture that comes to me is people seeing people and communicating on that level – not with a machine between them.
Ever heard of “boundaries”? We used to have them in day to day life. They worked. Draw the line somewhere please.
Note that the violence in the world did not end with ‘progress’. The solution is not based on person to person discussing and understanding and making some changes, it is based on who has the latest killer weapon AND the fastest tech communication.
I could go on,but I know you think I am off the wall.
Carry on, Tammy.
Tana Bevan - Tammy~Life is for living. It’s about flesh, blood, passion. The bits & bytes … they have their place, but they’re not the end-all, be-all. We who know a different world, where people met while out and about, striking up conversations, making friends (and even enemies), being a part of something REAL, need to encourage the generation(s) that follow the value of this. This post, sharing the wonderful video, you’re doing your part. Thank you!
The bits & bytes … well, take away the electricity, cell towers, and satellites and what have you got? A bunch of scrap metal. How many deep friendships have been forged around the camp fire? Cups of tea? Strolls around the block? Bringing dinners to those recuperating from surgery? Being there for a friend, to hold them, or even be with them when they cry. A cyber-hug just doesn’t get the job done.
PS: LOVE THE VIDEO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tana Bevan - PS: “Smart phones & dumb people.” LOVE that quote from the video. Here’s rooting for intelligence making a comeback!
Tammy - Hi Joan, no doubt progress has it’s price. We pay it every day. I don’t know if its an age thing or just a marvelous awakening, but I’m not willing to give up my old ways of reaching out, sharing and making new friends. I do get caught up in it all from time to time, but check myself and come back to where I belong: reality. Thanks for being here and sharing. It was awesome!
Tammy - Hi Tana, I loved the video too. So well done. Real is as real does. I am guilty of getting wrapped around my social media for business. And it sometimes carries over into much prized personal time. That won’t happen anymore. I vow to be vigilant, to protect my reality, my friends, my relationships, conversations and sharing. You are right…cyber hugs suck. Being present with one another, now THATS the bomb! There were several quotes in there that I loved….”smart phones and dumb people” was one of them! Adore you for sharing, and for many other reasons.
Walker Thornton - There are days when I think I’m addicted as well. Love that you caught yourself and truly enjoyed your trip.
Jeff Roseman - Could have done without the Seussian rhyming – it felt forced at times and devalued the sentiment (at least for me) but the underlying message is spot on.
That said, it is possible to live a “good” life without shutting down. I check my email regularly – one might say religiously. I love posting and responding to friends’ posts on Facebook and Twitter but I don’t let it run my life. I like to share photos with (and bask in the compliments of) more people than might see them on the small display on the back of my camera (or iDevice). Research, (comparison) shopping, route mapping, looking up a store’s/restaurant’s phone number, customer feedback, etc have all benefited immeasurably with the advances of technology.
I’m not addicted and I don’t count as friends every single person I’ve “friended”. Know the distinction and you won’t be self-deluded. I don’t feel lonely despite having 400+ friends because I DON’T HAVE 400+ friends. I have but a handful. What I DO have is 400+ introspectives into the daily lives of people I find interesting (and possibly were once friends with but time and distance have driven a wedge between). If I feel lonely it’s not compounded by wondering why I feel lonely despite having 400+ friends.
Like everything else in life the key is moderation. It’s up to the adults to ensure the next generation isn’t sucking from the teat of technology but rather using it as the tool it was meant to be. Teach the next generation that a Facebook “friend”ing does not a friend make.
Look up if for nothing more than to experience the world around you.
Ande - Aaahhh… welcome to the digital free world and HIRLing… hanging out in real life. A delicious sensation, yes? So proud of you!!
A few months ago we turned our smart phones into dumb phones, and it was SO FREEING! We began connecting with the world around us… uninterrupted interactions and conversations … woo hoo!
Here’s my fave video about phone addiction… my teenage boys sent it to me… via Facebook, of course… sigh… http://youtu.be/OINa46HeWg8
LOVE YOU Tammy – MUAH!
Tammy - Thanks, Walker. Overachievers often overdo everything. Then we overdo under-doing! It’s all so exhausting, isn’t it?! So happy to see you here. Thanks for that!
Tammy - Ande, I LOVE, LOVE the term ‘Hirling’! Watched the video. I kinda shuttered and secretly prayed that that was never me. But I’m betting, that at some points, it was. I’m so proud of me too, and happy to be part of the clan of real life again. I fear I’ve missed a lot! You have a pretty brilliant son there. But I think you already know that. I still love my iPhone and use it regularly, but I never use it to capture or record what my mind and heart can do so much better. LOVE YOU RIGHT BACK, Ande! Mush!
Marc Bachrach - worth more than 2 cents!
Susan - Right on, Tammy ! My little dog and I loved having you visit. How nice to have nothing disturb us…..ahhhhh, the sounds of quiet. x
Linda Lichtman - I am so glad that I’m a technotard – because it’s so difficult for me to successfully use my SmartPhone – I’m free of that addiction – leaving room for so many other bad habits – staying in bed too long – letting piles of papers and notebooks pile up so I can’t find projects I’m working on without wasting time re-organizing…oooh how I’d prefer getting stuck on technology than my totally insular addiction…just sayin’
Tammy - Thanks, Susan. What a treat to see you here! It was a grand 48 hours and I can’t wait to do it again next year! Love you so! Cassie too!
Tammy - Linda, you make me laugh! I guess addiction is addiction. We all have our demons, my darling. But mine was robbing me of some pretty serious human connection. Bah! To hell with that! I wasn’t put here to spend all my time on the internet. I’d rather go out and play in the mud. Wait …. that was 55 years ago. Oh well, it still applies! So happy to have you here.
mel glenn - I couldn’t agree with you more. I am a troglodyte. I have the technological I.Q. of a carrot and would be much more at home in the 19th century. Your column reminds us that technology is a mixed blessing. Once I saw a woman texting so fast in an elevator, I foolishly asked, “How come you’re so fast?” She gave me a withering look and said, “I’m 23.” Burn. We are in an age of my cell phone will connect to your cell phone. Thanks for reminding us of the pleasure of a technology-free zone.
Kitt Crescendo - Like you, I’ve been guilty of letting technology take over my universe. I’ve had to learn to disconnect. These days if hubby and I are going to the movies, hanging out by the pool, or doing something social with a bunch of friends, I leave my phone behind. I know that if it’s with me the temptation will be too great to “check in.”
Social media has helped me meet some wonderful and supportive friends that I never would have probably met under other circumstances, but still. It’s important to refresh yourself. One of the best ways to do that is to spend some “me” time….which is impossible if you take the whole world with you via technology.
Kristy K. James - I love this article. I, too, am tired of seeing people who love their phones like it was a living thing. Fortunately, I’ve hated texting from the start, but my computer. Yeah. I have to work on that one.
Tammy - Hey Mel, how the heck are you? I, too, have a computer IQ of a carrot and prefer to use my time reading a good book. That elevator comment hurt to even read. Ouch. Kids today! I do love technology but abhor the addiction that draws me in. I have keep an eye on myself so as not to let my life slip into soundbites, cat posts and cyber updates. So appreciate knowing you are here, my friend.
Doreen Pendgracs - Great video worth watching! A bit long, but the message is gold.
kim tackett - Yes, it’s true. I was a houseguest this weekend with no internet…which meant instead of checking blog stats (sneaking in of course), publicizing, looking at other blogs, and general tomfoolery, I was present. Sitting in the patio, for hours…just sitting and visiting, with my head up!
Tammy - Hi Kim, I KNOW, right?! I bet it was awesome. What happened to us that we don’t stay present more often? I’m the worst offender and have to “check” myself frequently. I’m happy that I do. Life is better when you are living it. So happy you popped in to share. Thanks for that!