I’m attracted to smaller communities. Places where people stand outside and have conversations, help each other, maintain a sense of community. Certain places haven’t jumped to the rush of “evolution” and in some ways it’s a good thing. When did we stop taking long walks, stretching out meals, noticing the mood of our conversations or the mood of a friend? We seem to have lived slower lives in the past. And with this stilled pace, came an introspection and awareness to the importance of the moment.
This has got me thinking lately about humanity. The more I become in tune with my energy, the more I crave connection to what is human. Or at least, what feels natural and mature in my heart. And so my soul is pulling me from the computer screen to my authentic self.
The one constant of change in my world and the world I see around me is an increased use of technology. Work, entertainment, creativity, gluttony, narcissism, research, commerce, all wrapped up into an electronic web of distractions. Being aware of this is vital for the health of humanity. And so it is with conviction that I see technology a direct threat to the core and importance of what makes us human. That is if we are not careful.
More and more I notice that heads are unnaturally arched down to glance at a device. And so I ask myself; When did looking at someone in the eyes become a novelty? And what’s wrong with silence? I notice at a party or in a public space when there is a moment of silence, heads go immediately down to a device. It is easier than trying to strike up a conversation I guess. Screens don’t judge you, they are easy and safe. Being uncomfortable takes effort. Humanity takes discipline. Presence takes patience.
Today a comforting breath came over me with the joyfulness in noticing the movement of tree branches dancing in the passing breeze. I noticed the softness in the way a stranger picked up his coffee cup from a distance. The way the tide left patterns in the sand. There is so much power in being present, mindful. But oftentimes I find myself being exactly not that. I am constantly reminding myself to pause, slow down, to stop being busy at being busy.
Distraction from technology can leave our humanity on a computer screen while a ghost of us travels throughout the day trying to find meaning. The amount of distraction from a device I encounter on a daily basis is staggering. I am constantly thinking about what I need to do next, when I should be, thinking about how to have a meaningful conversation, notice that my wife has dropped a subtle hint, or that the glow of the sunset over the rooftops is stoic compared to the day’s trivial worries.
To me the answer to fulfillment is not multitasking better. It is stripping away and editing all of the nonsense that penetrates our lives and finding the slowness in things, my loved ones, moments. The voice in my mind tells me to be present, give myself a break, and ultimately notice what is. This is what’s important. This is what creates happiness in me. The computer screen is a mischievous temptress telling me to look away, when I need to be in my heart. My humanity is calling. And I know there is a balance.