I’ve written about being unplugged and offline in the past. I feel the need to re-iterate and expound briefly on these thoughts because “in the moment sharing” (i.e., Twitter) did not exist and social networks had not yet reached the attention they now receive.
In a world of absolute connectivity – mobile cell phones, 24-7 cable news, and instant access Internet – we somehow feel the need to absolutely always be connected. What we are connected to is a problem in itself. A point in Andrew Keen’s book is that he believes WE (i.e., our own social circles and the virtual communities we belong to) are becoming news to ourselves. In doing so, we become wrapped up in worlds we create; we often create mindless, unintellectual worlds closed to viewpoints other than our own. But I digress.
Always on connectivity seems to create a strange predilection to always know (“know” is relative to the thought above because the quality of what we “know” is questionable). For example, a mobile phone compels us to always be available or at least sets the expectation that we always should be. Friends and family become frustrated when they cannot immediately reach us, even in non-emergency situations, they call us several times in-a-row or quickly remind us that we did not call them back in a day’s time.
The immediacy of the Internet often pushes us to “click” before we think. The blogosphere thrives on one-minute punditry. Reflection is frowned upon or at least not rewarded.
What happens when we live in a world that consists of the “now” only? What happens when our lives are filled with constant noise but no signal? We fail to filter. We become a reflection of that, which we consume.