Thursday, 1 December 2016
Do we sometimes forget the importance of being connected to reality, The Earth and just to ourselves?
I often 'forget' my phone when walking so that I can concentrate wholly on being 'in the elements' and being in THE moment without the umbilical cord of digital information. Yes, there can be inconveniences - like when I got stuck on a mountain a couple of years back and had 'forgotten' my phone. But actually it was fine and I met some friendly mountain inhabitants who kindly gave us (me, boy and dogs) pizza and towed us back down, which was probably far more interesting and possibly safer than waiting three hours or so for the insurance company to send out a rescue truck.
I was listening to a talk recently about the over use of phones/tablets, etc. The speaker suggested that we may be in danger of losing the capability and knowledge of how to be on our own - uncomfortable, restless; fingers twitching ready to scroll, jab, text, delete, like, and send visual information to anyone out there ready to receive our description of what we are doing, rather than just actually doing whatever it is and forming memories about it.
A most poignant example of this was a program I heard on Radio 4 where a professional balloonist was talking about the trips he organises and the behaviour of the people sharing the basket with him on each voyage. He said in nearly all cases people are so busy recording, photographing and sharing on social media, The Experience that they are not actually experiencing The Experience. Yes, they will be able to recall that moment on Facebook or Instagram but they won't have the actual, visceral memory in their heads.
It all has a place - social media, phones, computers, and it's all amazingly useful but perhaps not to the extent of forgetting our real connections.