I really wouldn’t mind going back to a time before the internet, social media and smartphones. When it was new, it all seemed amazing and great, ushering in an era of endless possibilities to communicate and share ideas, thoughts and experiences. And for many it has allowed us to do just that. But as the novelty has worn away and time presses on, I see the down side to this ever intrusive digital lifestyle; people are showing far more interest in being online then engaging with the people and environment around them. From the husband who eats his meal with Twitter open on his computer after work, to the friend constantly checking their Instagram notifications or the mother who “Facebooks” every moment of her newborn’s life. We have become obsessed with our digital presence rather than being completely present with our loved ones and friends. It has gotten to the point that we now have things like “internet addiction” and “FOMO”, where people start to feel anxious and fear that they might be missing out on something if they don’t have access to the internet. For many being online has become their life. Everything is for show. Likes and retweets or lack thereof boosts or damages self esteem. Self worth is measured by “social engagement” and “influence” and egos hang in the balance by web traffic.
It’s sad and disturbing.
I miss the days when people wrote letters to each other, where having a cup of coffee with a friend wasn’t interrupted by flashing lights of notifications from gadgets and setting suns were simple enjoyed instead of being a backdrop to another selfie.