Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Quotation Of The Day: The Need To Shut Down Edition

The digital age brings with it many blessings, especially in terms of ready information and instantly accessible research, but the most seductive are the instant connections we make on social media. Those who make a living in online media thrive in this environment. We can know about the smallest developments on the most arcane stories and issues in real time, communicate them to our friends and colleagues, and get instant feedback on what the broader community believes it means.
That's surely not all bad, but it's not all good, either. More and more, all of us live under the expectation of constant connection. We barely get time for sleeping, let alone having regular intervals of the quiet solitude needed to process all of this data to find its meaning. Ubiquitous connection rarely goes unused, either by those looking for people who are taking a break, or more so by the break-takers themselves. We feel compelled to post to social media when we should be socializing with family and friends, and tweeting life as observers instead of living it.
It's easy to feel victimized by this, but it's really a self-inflicted conceit. We become the center of our own worlds, with the constant connection a validation of our own importance. The removal of that connection does not disturb anyone else, but the removal of that validation makes it clear that the world spins on without us. And when we return, we discover that not much really changes in the time we spent away from social media, away from the office, and even away from friends and family.

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