As you know in today’s society we live in the fast-paced digital age. Innovations in the way people live now are growing nearer to what a Utopian futuristic world will appear which only seemed to exist in science fiction films a mere decade ago. We have gone so far and have made vast accomplishes in such a short time. Lets thank Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for building a modern world from their visions. Who would have thought that a billionaire today would look like your average citizen; wearing jeans, a fan-boy t-shirt and maybe a pair of crocks. Billionaires are not dressed in suits with thick mustaches and look through a monocle anymore. Those high school students who used to be stuffed in lockers and thrown in trash bins are now running the world through the genius they pose in forming social media websites such as: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. and vast mobile apps. And what used to be the giant transformer sized computer monitor in a house hold has evolved and merged with our daily lives. Technology has been distinguished among us and became its own character.
As a kid I remember going to my friend’s house only to find a mysterious and ugly white screen in my friend’s fathers office room or in other words his ‘Man Cave’. I was curious and a bit scared about approaching the device because I did not understand what it did nor what its purpose was. The monitor was thick, heavy and had green coding typed behind a bleak and dark screen. It even was something that was not allowed to be touched by a child. Ironically today, my own nephew has been picking up a tablet ever since he was three-years old. I remember my Dad having to go down to his neighbor’s basement apartment just to look up something sometimes. I would always hear the obnoxious sound of a ringing like fax going off every time my father wanted to use the internet. The noise used to bother my ears so much. He would go on American Online which today is ‘AOL’ and check his email. You used to have to wait til the Dial Up song stopped playing to surf the web which then would disable you from using your phone line. Today, that might sound crazy but back then the internet was just an extra thing a few people had. There was no major demand for technology as life twenty years back was completely different and also simpler.
As much as I enjoy technology and what I’m able to use it for as much as next the person, I still like to retract and look back on the days when I woke up as a child and went outside to play. There was never a morning when I would wake up and turn on my laptop. Those days did not begin until I entered college. But as a kid I lived freely among the natural world and conquered the lands with my immense imagination. I would start battles with my action figures and create a universe only I knew. Unfortunately, I am not that kid anymore and instead spend my days indoors checking my email, updating this blog and/or posting a tweet on Twitter or a message on Facebook. I rarely even talk to my friends on the phone, instead I text them like everyone else. However, I will admit that texting is as fun as a game, especially when it comes to girls. I always try to be so witty and charming with women but instead I really should just call them up, hear their voice and ask them out. I probably will oddly continue to text. That is the impact that the digital age has had on society, dating life, job hunting, professionalism, and social engineering. It has affected everything and everyone in both positive and negative ways. In my opinion, people who live a normal healthy life are vulnerable to too much internet and technology. Sometimes, it is too much and you need to take a step back. All this multitasking and fast-pace living causes wear and tear on the mind. Right now, I have a total of six tabs opened up on Google Chrome along with iTunes which is always running because music has such a huge influence on my day. That is not even a lot and you reading this would understand that you probably have the same amount of tabs open if not more. The digital age has turned us into creative entrepreneurs and has filled our brains with endless amounts of data thus making our minds think faster. However, it has also given us more stress and work. There is an obligation in today’s job market in which every applicant needs to have an online appearance to be successful. Companies want us to know everything about them because we can, all we have to do is put their name in the Google browser search and boom. It could not be anymore simpler. Although, it is easy to find the information, there is so much information we look up daily that it overwhelms us and what first seems like a fun lesson of the day turns into a massive homework assignment or research project. The digital age has caused people to be overly stressful about things that do not really matter.
Years ago, no one would have cared how many likes, followers or notifications you had on your social media profile or website. I did not care about an online presence because it did not exist. Whenever you create something that is the goal of advancing your public self, you need to maintain it, update with it and so forth. It eventually becomes a burden. This leads to the second part of my post of how to de-stress yourself from the internet, but not dissolve. I know there’s no way of moving backwards because at this point, who would want to. However, I would like to sometimes take a break from technology and really take care of my well-being by looking inside myself from a natural stand point. I feel that people have different personalities when they separate themselves from the virtual world. I like to go on nature walks once in a while and plunge into the ocean as I mentioned in my first blog post. To be honest, I have not actually written something down on paper in a year. The last time I did that I was interviewing a coach for a sports story I was assigned. Last time I actually wrote something with pencil in a journal had to be about ten years ago. I’ve come accustomed to the internet so much that I have labelled my ‘typing’ as writing. Typing has become like a third hand. Do I even have the muscle to write a story on paper? I don’t have the answer to that question unless I started an experiment and then wrote a blog about it. What used to excite me when I was a kid has changed. I used to love going to the toy room and playing out my favorite films or cartoon shows. Now I enjoy when I type in Gmail and receive mail of how many people followed me on twitter, my blog or if a company got back to me with some promising news for employment. Usually getting positive employment news is rare though. I have mix feelings about what the world has become and continues to be. I enjoy the fact that I can write this post and have others around the globe reading it. That is very exciting for me as a writer and only builds on the continuous effort for more writing, because it has become a drug. Starting this blog has already been quit the journey and it’s only the beginning. I love seeing what I wrote a week ago and then seeing what I’m writing at the moment. The transition and the evolution of my written work would not have been possible if it was not for the internet.
Then there’s the other argument I have about technology. Without technology things are much simpler and less stressful. Twenty years ago life was at a softer pace and as a result people in my opinion were happier. That is one major aspect of the digital age that I dispute about, it has caused depression. It has given my life a window to look through but not to be a part of. I was always someone who loved going outside and enjoyed adventure. The internet takes those pure experiences away as we go from the participator to the spectator and from the artist to the critic. Everyone online has an opinion by leaving comments or making YouTube videos and all bits of information has some truth and possible falsity to it. How do you know who is telling the truth and how can you tell if something is bias or fact? You don’t, just use your best judgement after hours of researching and fact checking. The most important part of this post leaves to de-stressing. The secret to living a happy and fulfilling life is to enjoy nature and to go outside more. It is also to endure and handle the stress that comes with technology and the internet. Each day, I try not to overwhelm myself with multiple digital devices. It isn’t easy but when I’m on the computer I try to only focus on that and when I’m writing this I try to do just that. I need to go outside more and I need a break from all this. I advise that when people go away on vacation they should also deter from any digital devices. Going to a tropical and secluded place cannot be fully reached until your mind is away from technology. I dislike all those tablet or Kindle commercials that show someone looking at a screen while lying on a beach chair surrounded by sand, waves and sun. If you’re going to read something in a summer setting please pick up a book and read words on a page, not on a screen. If it was up to me I would go away to a beautiful lagoon in Thailand and separate myself from technology because it will de-stress and detox my mind from clutter. There is so much clutter in the world today that people do not know who they really are or what they are actual capable of. I heard once on the news that a woman jumped down onto the train tracks after she dropped her phone. Besides making a huge decision as to putting your life in ultimate jeopardy, she felt her phone was more important because it had everything on it, her virtual personality. Things like this is what drive me mad. People have become so comfortable with technology today that if a device breaks, it’s almost as equivalent to a pet dying or even a family member passing away. It is absurd but some people have emotionally connected to their digital lives in away that it is apart of them and makes up who they are. That is untrue though, the real you is when everything is taken away.
So those reading this I hope you do a few things as I will try. Try to go off all technology and record how long you were able to be separate from it. Explain how you felt when you were divorced. Maybe you will be annoyed and get back on the computer immediately, maybe it will have no effect or maybe it will change you and make you realize that there is a second world which humans tend to ignore and forget. The natural beautiful world that was made my scientific phenomenon which is in front of our eyes and not hidden behind a flat screen. I know when I go off alone and stray from virtual reality I can think, contemplate and form epiphanies. I think clearly in nature without clutter forming obstacles. I can take a deep breath, inhale the fresh filled air and be content in the present. I live among the foliage of the landscape without a thought of the future as I awake in the moment. So do me a favor and go outside for a few hours anywhere natural and take a deep breath, relax and stop thinking about what needs to be done. Yours and my health is what comes first, the digital age comes second. When you finally come back to modern reality, you will have a greater appreciation of life and possibly grow as a person. I don’t mind living among technology. Just sometimes we need to give ourselves a well deserved break.