Welcome To Your Life
The world moves in a staggering fast pace. We, as curious and non-stop renewing individuals, strive to move along. This century taught us to blend into virtual Whatsapp group conversations, ask assistance of all-knowing Siri and add dimensions to our ordinary lives by looking through VR glasses. This text focuses on the enthusiastic overusage of (social) media, in which we tend to lose the physical environment we live in – though we must never forget where we came from.
There’s No Turning Back
The world moves in a staggering fast pace. We, as curious and non-stop renewing individuals, strive to move along. This century taught us to blend into virtual Whatsapp group conversations, ask assistance of all-knowing Siri and add dimensions to our ordinary lives by looking through VR glasses. In retrospective, we can all agree that the developments have had extreme acceleration – if not slightly out of control for some.
According to True Origin, humans start to develop the ability of oral communication at the age of 4, after which a more comprehensive improvement follows. With this ability, every human can make itself understandable and communicate with others. Though I recall the cheerful emotions of parents by seeing their newborn saying its first words and making its first movements, it kind of seems to be taken for granted nowadays.
I was undeniably shocked when I passed by a toys shop. A certain ‘iPhone for babies’ caught my eye’s attention, as it promoted itself as an actual iPhone replica for one-year-olds. If you have ever engaged in a discussion with parents of toddlers, you may have heard a statement like “when our kid cries, we give him/her a smartphone so he/she will stop doing so.” As a kid, I could cry as long as I wanted, but it would never resolve in getting my hands on a touch screen.
Additionally, as indicated by Forbes, shielding a child from pain is something mentally strong parents don’t do. Only old-fashioned trial and error teaches children to experience and cope with discomfort. When looking out the window, I see silent playgrounds and non-moving swings. Kids are, unfortunately, intensely swiping and tapping at home.
It is important to distinguish the ‘daily life’ trial and error from misled consumption of the internet. That is to say, the internet is being occupied by two-third of the whole world and its accessibility does not come without risk. According to CNBC, Apple CEO Tim Cook is somewhat sceptical about the usage of social media by children. In 2017, he has pointed out that, even though the internet has enabled much and empowered many, “the bigger issue is that some of these tools are used to divide people, manipulate people, to get fake news to people in broad numbers so as to influence their thinking.” This illustrates how a digital environment can be dangerous for those who are being exposed to it.
A regular walk with the dog also got influenced by the digital phenomenon. Instead of actively shaking paws or giving small cuddles, I regularly observe owners looking down on their vibrant smartphone screens. This makes me wonder: what if the whole system crashes? What if our ongoing servers encounter a complete breakdown and disable our ordinary usage of mobile phones and social media?
We would be out of online agendas, Whatsapp conversations and Tweets. Out of Snaps, Facebook chats and beeps. Out of e-mails, e-parking and e-commerce. We would solely be left with the alert stating that our devices have lost connection.
We would be living the offline life in full glory. Ostensibly a radical fantasy – albeit surreal in this modernized era. I do not intend to blame people for making use of our technological growth, but, opposingly, to encourage one to enjoy what is physically ahead of oneself. There is so much beauty to be found in ordinary life – one just needs to keep one’s eyes open and look forward.
Only then we can feel truly connected.