August 28, 2013

Being Here But Not Here

I’ve heard this reference a couple of times in the last week or so which made me think of how many times I may be there in body, but not particularly there in mind. When I’m aware of what’s happening, sometimes my brain races looking for reasons that sent me to be in that state of mind and then I think, is it just me?

Is it my fault or is it technology’s fault?

I find it interesting that it used to be that in order to get news a person had to read the morning paper or stay up until late evening hours. Nowadays information is readily at my fingertips if I just want to search; then again there’s the option of getting blasted with texts, emails, alerts about things may happen all around me, perhaps even in my neighborhood, city, state, country or the other side of the world, is all of that too distracting for me to stay focused in the here and now at a given time?

Seems humans to yearn for connection while wanting to have all the conveniences of a modern world. I can call relatives on the other side of the country, check my bank account balance, purchase movie tickets on my phone all at the same time while possibly ignoring the person who met me at the movie theater to spend some time doing something fun. See the irony there? I consider myself to be a social & extrovert, and good at multitasking, but it may just be a cop out for bad behavior...

I seem to have no problem connecting with someone on another continent and share experiences, personal feelings down to intimate details yet I don’t know my own neighbors. I sit at work with open cubicles, navigate daily life on trains and city walks with my headphones on because, well--I don’t want to offend people with the music or podcasts I listen to, but is it really a ploy keep others away? Have I have turned my life into headphone city? When did that happen and why?

There are events, parties, social occasions to meet others face to face and interact with fellow human beings and yet it isn’t uncommon for two or three (or many) of us to whip out our mobile devices to text someone who is not there, chat with so and so 1 mile away or stay ‘in touch’ with a virtual world while the real world passes us by but hey, as long as everyone else is doing it it is okay for me to do it right? Isn’t that an interesting phenomenon? I’ve seen two people sitting in a restaurant across from each other (as in a possible dinner date?) and place their phones right by their silverware--is it because our virtual lives are THAT important? Some people some people might call it the 21st. Century--some might just call it right down disrespectful and rude,

Sure I live in what is turning to be a global community. I connect with people, information, science, sports, world events, politics, entertainment in many forms of  media, but I’m realizing that all of that noise may be keeping me away from real life itself. Is that a new level of social awareness? Is it healthy? For additional illustration purposes I tried expressed my thoughts in first person--hard exercise, and not just because how hard it is to own up to my own issues--but if any change may be needed it needs to start with me.

Any opinions/thoughts?

Can I have you ignore the real person in front of you, next to you or around you so you can address my virtual, random ponderings? :-)

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