Wednesday, May 15, 2013

EMOTIONAL ROBOTS

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Gaaaaaaaaahhhh... I am a deadbeat blogger. What can I say?  What started out as a quick one or two day break from the shackles of internet-land, turned into 11 days of radio silence. Deepest apologies.. 

On that note, however, I want to revisit the subject of techno-burnout. (If you're over my "old lady" rants, then please tune in tomorrow).  Sometimes I am deeply saddened by our dependence on technology. I've mentioned my annoyance when concert-goers are more into capturing footage on their smart phones than watching and enjoying the show. I look around at a restaurant and half the people at the table are looking at their phones instead of the people in front of them. Is it healthy to have a conversation with someone and then whip out your phone to "find out" the piece of information you were just discussing? 

Even as a blogger, it is sometimes a burden to run around with my camera and document everything I'm doing. (Does anyone else feel like this?)  Is it enough, anymore, to experience an event without sharing it on Facebook, tweeting, or blogging about it? Is it not really "real" until it's Facebook official... 'X changed her relationship status to "in a relationship'"  ?? It is implied that if it is not on Facebook, then clearly one party has not committed yet... I have had to block dear friends on FB, because I simply cannot stand to read what they are having for dinner, how well their run went, or what color their pee was that day. You see my point. 

I think there is a very real phenomenon of social media and internet addiction developing. I am no better. I don't have a smart phone yet but I often watch TV shows streaming on my laptop. I cannot make it through 3 or 4 minutes of a show without clicking over to facebook, email, or my Etsy shop. Sometimes I stop and Google an actor or actress. I don't even know what I am looking for, or necessarily even waiting for a response from someone, but it's like a sick compulsion!  

As a small internet business owner, I feel that I haven't properly done my job unless I listed new product online, pinned it, facebooked about it, tweeted it, instagrammed it first, and sent emails to everyone I know.  It's insane. And it won't be long before there will be another little icon to attend to, along with those. I assure you "THEY"...the proverbial all-knowing, technologically elite "THEY" are working on it right now. 

This is not a case for the stop of progress and technology. It is wonderful. In many many ways it makes my life easier. I am able to share with my friends and family all over the world. I started not one, but two Etsy shops--basically started a business out of a corner of my bedroom--with virtually no overhead (tweet, link, share..gahhh) and manage pretty much all of my bills and family affairs right from my laptop. I worship Pinterest. It's saved me tons of tear sheets and binders of images and hundreds of dollars in magazines (sorry Hearst, Conde Nast, etc..)It basically replaced cookbooks in my house. Despite all of this, I am making a huge case, here, for us all to draw the line somewhere!

In all of this fabulous ease and flashy one-stop, touch-of-a-button living, are we forgetting to actually LIVE? Over the past 11 days, I actually read a book, went to a movie, ate at a fabulous restaurant here in Austin (tweet, link, share...gahhh!!I'm doing it again), exercised, and spent quality time with my family. I went to bed at a reasonable hour and managed to avoid the take-out trap all week.  In my radio silence, I felt healthier and more relaxed than I have in months. 

I'm getting to a point here. Technology and progress will continue to grow at an extreme rate--possible until we are all walking around like automotons with headsets and QR codes on our faces . The only person who can keep it from going too far is YOU. You set your own boundaries.. I assure you Apple won't do it. In the name of reclaiming our humanity, I encourage you to declare a TECHNOLOGY FREE day once a week.  Don't look at facebook. Don't check your email. Don't pin, don't tweet, don't insta-anything. Read the news in a newspaper, cook a recipe from your cookbook, buy a book at a bookstore, look your husband, wife, girlfriend, BFF in the eye when they talk, and if you feel incredible joy, pride, or sadness, wallow in it--this is what makes you a person. It is real whether we hit the "like" button or not. 

Cheers..
Rachel 


1 comment:

Sarah Greenman said...

Well said. Thanks for this - xo