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Disconnected Connections & Distractions February 16, 2012

Posted by nrhatch in Blogging, Happiness, Mindfulness, Nature.

We are connected.

Connected via cell phones, text messages, smart phones, the world wide web, Facebook, Linkedln, Google, Goodreads, StumbledUpon, e-mails, and tweets via Twitter.

And, yet, we are more disconnected than ever.

Our face time has given way to Facebook time.  Hugs and kisses are often of the cyber variety.  And we LOL more than we laugh out loud.

Can you hear me now?

I’ve read a few articles recently that address the price we pay for the constant distractions we face from our disconnected cyber connections.

From one:

* “Facebook . . . is to friendship what fast food is to nutrition ~ a quick way to feel like we’ve gotten what we need.  But when compared with what we really need, what we get is insubstantial.” ~ Arleen Spenceley, Facebook is Going Public, Tampa Bay Times, February 12, 2012.

It’s like eating non-nutritive cereal varnish . . . instead of real food.

* For many, cyber connections include “constant pressure to impress an imaginary audience, consistent interruptions, and perpetual preoccupation with the question:  Should my Facebook status reflect this?” ~ Ibid.

* Signing off of social media is a form of “asceticism, an emptying of my time and space so I can fill it with what matter more in the long run.” ~ Ibid.

In another recent article:

* “The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. ~ Pico Iyer, Quietude, Solitude, Silence, Time to Think, Tampa Bay Times, January 29, 2012

By way of example, people who stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur (a “black-hole resort”) spend $2,285 a night for “the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms.”

Distracting ourselves is nothing new, of course.

“Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries, and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” ~ Blaise Pascal, 17th century French Philosopher.  (Pascal also noted that “all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”)

* A series of tests in recent years has shown that, after spending time in quiet rural settings, subjects “exhibit  greater attentiveness, stronger memory, and generally  improved cognition.  Their brains become both calmer and sharper.”  ~ Pico Iyer, Quietude.

Sounds good to me.

Press *2* for “disconnect.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

How many friends do you have on Facebook and in other cyber venues?

If you sent a cyber farewell to these e-friends, unplugging from Facebook to take a cyber sabbatical, how many would you hear from in the next week?  Next month?  Next year?

Related posts:  Intimacy ~ In-To-Me-You-See (Soul Dipper) * Meetings ~ More Meaning, Less Death (T4D) * Fiddles, Radio Broadcasts, Signing Off, and iPads (Christine M. Grote) * Creating Friendship in a 21st Century World (Lisa Wields Words) * No Mobiles Day (Grannymar)