The other day, I was introduced to this video illustrating1 the distracted intrusion of the Internet into our day-to-day lives thanks to smartphones. Coincidentally recent in my social media feeds, I have seen the Einstein-attributed2 quote; “I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” I watch the invasion of these devices day-to-day (especially during transit commutes), and have been there to some extent myself. However, as much as I love being connected to the Internet all the time, I’m finding I pull into these potentially “addictive” trends less & less.
I pull more and more away from them because more and more they feel like work. I fall behind keeping up with Twitter on a frequent basis; I just don’t have the time to read it unless I’m sitting at my computer work, and even then I probably shouldn’t be entertaining it other than a temporary distraction. Facebook is much the same, but I find myself on there instead restraining myself from correcting terrible information that people are blindly reposting/distributing. Foursquare just doesn’t have the appeal to check in to anymore; it feels like work remembering to check into establishments, ergo I only use it when I want to find something. GetGlue has changed their intentions for their site so substantially such that I’ve quit using it altogether.
I feel more and more that I just don’t have anything to contribute of worth to these streams anymore. I’m consuming the information, but I lack the energy or conviction to contribute. The tedium of my daily life seems a waste for Facebook3, so I keep the random bouts of it to the microblogging nature of Twitter. I have a hard time even plugging in to keep up with my texting as much these days. I am leaving my phone on my desk shelf more and more because it is a distraction when I’m working, and the conversations are usually not so time-sensitive that I cannot afford to wait until I’m done with whatever is at hand.
This feels like a hallmark of getting old. Or more a hallmark of being desensitized to electronic communications and the modicum of satisfaction they provide. The new job has been nice so far, but it has left me starved for the intimacy of personal communication with friends & colleagues that I have after years at an establishment. To which if I was just job-shifting within a city, wouldn’t be so bad; the occasional weeknight dates & weekend meet ups with friends keep that drip alive. But I’m beating a dead horse again now. Anyhow…
I am going to roll with this spontaneous shirking away from the electronic mediums that I used to so frequently dabble in. I’m curious to see what other ways I may find to occupy my time without those entrenched neurological vices; see if my mental focus comes back around without so much ridiculous over-analysis. Reminds me back to Watterson’s last Calvin & Hobbes strip, since I heard about the Bill Watterson documentary Dear Mr. Watterson on NPR’s Weekend Edition this past weekend.
It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…
…let’s go exploring!
I’m 32. I’m still refining my scientific interests, skill sets, and expertise. I’m in a huge, multi-cultural city, full of industry and research and cuisine. Not to mention all of the other countries I’m still interested in visiting. Hell, I might even consider attempting to learn German again. Pick back up into a racquetball league. Find a pool hall to shoot in.
I’ve got a lot of exploring left to do…
1A bit exaggerated at times, but at others all too true.
2There is no clear evidence whether he said it or not; which happens to be a pet peeve of mine, when people blindly spreading “catchy media.”
3Although clearly not for many, it would seem.