We live in a technologically driven world. We are addicts. There’s always another video, another article, another tweet, another post, another page, another pin, and another picture. Without fear of dating myself, I must say: the younger generation is worse. These young people watch Vines. For those of you who don’t know, Vines are videos that can only be 6 seconds long. Their “time” is so limited they can only allow 6 seconds to watch each video. 6 seconds! Technology has shortened our attention spans.
We spend countless hours connected to the world through the internet. We have all been there: scrolling endlessly through the News Feed on Facebook, refreshing Instagram every other minute, browsing aimlessly through Pinterest, rechecking emails and Whatsapp messages. This addiction with connectivity, while a relatively new addiction (as far as addictions go), is real. Sometimes, I feel as if my phone is just an extra appendage. This cannot be healthy. I try not to make this a habit, especially if I am in the company of others, although I’m not always successful. We are so connected to everything but so disconnected from our actual surroundings. Go to any bar or nightclub and see people on their phones just texting. Go to any restaurant and see how many people are sitting with each other and not talking, just texting.
The selfies, the videos, the food picture taking; we are going through documenting everything but experiencing very little. At a Bruno Mars concert in 2014, when everyone took out their phones to film his performance, he stopped and asked, “Wouldn’t you just want to experience it rather than record it?” This is just one of the many instances, in which, I am confronted with the perceived error of our ways.
Living on an island should make us appreciate the beauty of a slower pace. While in St. Maarten, there is the regular hustle and bustle, true island living can still be ours. We all must see the importance of living slowly, at least in small doses. This will preserve our sanity. This will keep our actual human connections intact. While my work demands connectivity, to catch every possible lead, sometimes, I wish I could just disconnect. In the same breath, this disconnection makes me anxious. What if someone was trying to reach me? What if the building was burning down? What if? What if? What if?
I can only start with myself and that I shall do.