Have you noticed there’s a ton of talk about “living in the moment” but not a whole lot of people doing it? Observing people recently on a stroll through the Santa Monica Promenade (people watching central for those of you outside of California), I was amazed at how many folks are detached from their immediate environment. Parking my car, I nearly ran over a woman tapping away on her Blackberry. As I got in the elevator there was a beautiful woman with earphones on, completely entranced by the playlist on her iPhone. I felt more inclined to send her a text message then simply say hello.
Since the beginning of time men have been tasked with being the initiators of conversation. It is our role to create the break-in, get the woman’s attention and create a spark that will inspire the connection. Now this has never been an easy play, but modern technology has provided an e-cock block that can be tough to get around. Thank you Steve Jobs, for connecting the world but leaving us estranged when we’re sharing space with each other.
Facebook has become the clear run-away means of connecting with people. “Facebook me” has become the standard in staying in touch and I can count on my one hand the number of friends I have that are not a part of the Facebook frenzy. They are viewed as modern day Mormans and I often ponder if these friends churn their own butter and make bread in a brick oven at home. Who are these Facebook friends and why do we feel compelled to keep in touch with people that we wouldn’t have a beer with if they called and said they were at a pub down the street?
So how does one continue to make real human interactions in a world that is preoccupied with what else is going on rather than what is going on around them? Do we fight this dehumanization of social interaction, or embrace the fact that we no longer need to have tough conversations when we can just text “sorry it isn’t working out. Good luck.” ? After all, there’s always another one on Victoriabrides.
The answer is you need to find your own happy place with technology. Like anything else, finding balance is critical. Technology should be a freeing, mind expanding, opportunity opening tool and not something that makes you feel shackled or obligated. Obligated to tweet your location, update your Facebook status each time your mood shifts or even feel required to pick up your cell phone every time it rings simply because you have it with you. I’m a firm believer that life’s most amazing experiences still happen in the real world, in real space with real people. Every once in a while power down your device of choice to breathe some fresh air and live outside of your playlist.
Technology has -of course- brought us the online dating boom as well. More than 40 million users now are estimated to being using some online dating service. However, I can guarantee you that just because they’re using online dating, does not mean they are making connections.