I was born in 1984 and grew up on the countryside. As a child I loved playing in the woods, built tree houses and played with my imaginary friends. I remember when the first Gameboy came on the market and my parents denied me to have one. In my frustration I built one myself out of carton and drew Super Mario Adventures on paper. For me it was real and gave me a lot of happiness back in those days. When I was 16 years old I got my first mobile phone and had only three numbers in my phone book, my home number, my boyfriend and a mates number. When I was 17 my parents bought their first computer ever and to me it was revolutionary.
Today, I am 31. I live near London, I got a smart phone, a laptop, a Facebook account and no landline. I have friends from all over the world through years of traveling and its so easy to stay in touch via the internet. I still love being outside and enjoy my quiet time alone. I haven’t lost my imagination nor my appreciation for the simple things in life.
My life has changed completely since I was 17 years old. Not only I have grown up and life experiences have shaped me but also the world around me is so different now.
Sometimes I find myself asking if I am the only one who has problems to open up to other people or is it something we all suffer from?
Going for walks for so many seem to be boring and the sound of nature frightening. There are so many people around me and even most of them avoid eye contact as it would be something intimidating.
When I take the train to London I only see sad faces staring at their phones.
I often look out the window and see the most amazing sunrise but apart from me no one realizes that. No one speaks and a strange atmosphere surrounds me when I am on the train. I remember my neighbour telling me stories about her time when she went on the train to London. That was 50 years ago and I feel like listening to a fairytale. She speaks about steam trains and people playing cards on their journey to London, there was laughter, chatter and excitement.
Today we have more than ever in our lives. We drive big cars, live in posh houses and we can connect with people from all over the world in seconds. I remember when I was 12 years old and had a pen friend from Australia. Sometimes I waited 2 month for a response letter and every day I woke up more excited because I knew that a letter would soon arrive. On some days I was so looking forward to it that I would wait hours at the front door just to meet the postman.
Nowadays I get scared if people don’t reply to my text messages within minutes and I feel annoyed if someone doesn’t answer an email within hours. I also find myself overwhelmed and frustrated not responding quick enough to emails I receive even if they are from people I do really care about. I need to write things down that I do not forget to write them back as there is so much going on in my life at the moment.
The new technology does not make me more secure but more emotional unstable sometimes. I have problems to sleep at night and racing thoughts are hunting my mind on an endless roller coaster. I worry more about my future than ever before and news hit me within seconds direct into my heart.
When I look at the people around me I see their addiction to be informed and distracted. It’s like a distraction from the distraction. The more we put information in our heads the more we don’t need to think about things. We think that the more we are informed, the more safe we would feel in the world as it gives us the feeling of control. But that is an illusion. It is a mental rat-race with no end. We are addicted to thoughts. More and more we lose touch to our very own selves. Everyone I speak to these days says to me: “Oh I don’t know but I am busy all the time!”
I wonder if we have chosen this path or the path has chosen us?
Of course emails, Facebook and Skype are amazing inventions but although they can’t replace a real human connection.
Do we slowly become 2 dimensional zombies? Only focused on more information? More input?
The more we focus what is going on outside the less we have time to see what is going on inside.
We call it connection. But I don’t feel that. I feel disconnected. What about you?
The internet seem to replace time and space but at the same time that is exactly what we all need. Time for ourselves and space in which we can truly be who we are without distraction.
To experience what we feel, to ask where we heading to and maybe to realize what this is all about?
We need more real human touch than digital illusion. More nature and less buildings around us. More timeless moments than speed connections. We need to slow down and breath rather than rush around and die on the way into nowhere.
It is time to make more conscious decisions, taking on the responsibility to say no, allowing time to reveal things when they are meant to happen. Most important that we need to learn to stand still in a time where everyone is headless running with no sense of direction, while staring at their phones.
I might go out tomorrow and build a tree house or spend a day with my imaginary friends. I might even go and hug a tree. And if I am really adventurous I will start a conversation with a stranger on the train and look deep into hisher eyes just to scare the shit out of people. 🙂
Are you joining me?
written by Julie
(featured image – haikudeck.com)