Tune In

It seems like everywhere I go, every place I turn these days, and ironically, that includes social media, the internet and TV, the hot topic seems to be about our overly-plugged in relationships with all things digital, and their negative effects. Is the universe trying to tell me something? It’s like I’ve been the little kid insisting there is a ghost under my bed, but until now, nobody saw it but me- and they only believe me now because they’ve not only seen it, but they’ve been scared as hell by it and perhaps now its time for an exorcism! Really though, is it possible that I am finally not alone in my concerns that we are all growing a bit out of touch because of the technology advancements to the term community taking place by the nano-second? There seems to be a subtle shift, like a tectonic plate deep in the earth that is slipping beneath us and soon, much like dinosaurs, our ability to communicate as effectively as in person is on the brink of extinction because our own individual communication continents are shifting farther and farther away from each other. Until this recent surge in discussion in the medias, I had felt overwhelmingly alone in my concerns, which first started gnawing on my little anthropological soul in 2009 when I was ignited to begin my own tiny social experiment to challenge others to put away their devices, texts and social medias for 30 days, and join me, in my perhaps overly polly anna idea I dubbed, “Project Eye Contact,” which flopped, big time, incidentally. Even I failed at my own challenge. Clearly I was before my time, right? Now, however, may be a different story. I think people everywhere are starting to feel what I am feeling… and that feeling is a void. Something is just “off” lately, missing. Its hard to put your finger on it, until you realize that the more connected you become through every “community machine” imaginable, the more the void grows. Its like the static channels from the old radio and antenna TVs have been turned way up- with every new avenue for connectivity, I feel like the channel is a bit more static. Lately that static has grown loud enough, its become hard to ignore. It’s become a distraction for real life. For me, the major question that troubles me is How do I parent through this potential digital disaster for human to human connection? I teeter between embracing and repelling all things technological these days. I am both drawn to the ease as I am put off by the disengagement. Is there a way I can be an example for my children when soon, static may just start to sound normal? Even as I sit in my hotel room on vacation, writing this from my mobile app for WordPress, two of my four children are quietly enjoying their kindles while the baby sleeps. Just one of my four has chosen to engage over plug-in, with his parent outside in the pool. Sure, I could be chatting with them, perhaps should be, instead of worrying about getting these thoughts out of my head and into cyberspace before I forget them, but that would certainly defeat the purpose of the post– now wouldn’t it? I suppose I want everyone to hear the static volume, because at some point, it becomes too loud to ignore.