I realize how incredibly dependent I’ve become on being ‘connected’. Social networking and social media is a perpetual staple that I feed on throughout the day, consuming voraciously as if preparing for a famine. If I’m not online on the computer then it’s the phone I use to connect to Twitter, Facebook and other news feeds. Calling me an ‘Information Junkie’ would be an understatement. By and large I’ve noticed that it’s not just me but a lot of people who feel anxious and disconnected the moment they cannot get on to the internet, be it from a computer or a phone or any other device. And it’s a worrying trend. A question that has become increasingly common nowadays is ‘What did we do before there was Facebook?’. There are no really good answers to that one.
On the other hand the usefulness of a micro-blogging platform like Twitter makes it possible to consume information faster than ever imagined. It connects one to the pulse of human consciousness, what people around the world are thinking and talking about in real time. The benefits of useful information cannot be overstated. At the same time a dependence on being perpetually connected and consuming information is damaging in itself. As humans we need to switch off our fleeting monkey brains from time to time and be with ourselves more, to have internal conversations with the self and discover who we are in a quiet, peaceful environment. Being too externally connected acts like an excuse for people to not get to know themselves better. Social networking online is like masturbation and getting out there in the real world and getting to know real people is akin to sex. Fucked up analogy, I know.
I feel guilty when I’m with friends and we’re all doing something and I suddenly feel the urgent need to ‘tweet’ what I’m doing. It annoys my friends but more importantly it distances me from the reality of the moment, wanting to connect to a virtual world and share my thoughts with a virtual base of ‘followers’ to see what they have to say about it. I feel that some day I’m going to completely disconnect and live a hermits life. Unfortunately it’s not going to be anytime soon.