How to be a friend in a busy cyber world?
Do our social media "friends" count as real "social capital" and human connection? As last week's info-graphic showed, we are actually becoming less connected to each other in the last few decades. This is taking its toll on our emotional and physical wellbeing. As the Harvard researchers said, we are "better together". I am going to ask a lot of you this week. I am asking you to watch the entire TedTalk below, and then share it with your friends, family and co-workers. If I could, I would make watching this clip mandatory in every high school health class, every parenting class, every church group, wellness center, and counseling office. If I could, I would make it mandatory watching before anyone could purchase a computer, smart phone, or video game!
Call me old fashioned: I do NOT want a sociablerobot seal to keep me company in a nursing home!
You will have to watch the video to learn why I feel this way. You will have to watch it to learn the immature and unwise "Three Gratifying Fantasies" this technology seduces us with. Watch it to learn how this technology is dangerously undermining an internal relationship with ourselves. Without the ability to be quiet and alone with ourselves, we do not have much to offer in human connection to others. You will learn why we prefer texting to the more uncertain terrain of face-to-face conversation, and why that may not be a good thing. You will learn that we actually use this technology to present an "airbrushed" version of ourselves and avoid the "warts and all" intimacy that truly feeds the human spirit. We use it to remove ourselves from difficult emotions and insight. This can be particularly harmful for adolescents who are supposed to be developing the skills for face to face relationship and empathy. Watch the video! She explains all this and more masterfully.
I am not "anti-computer".
Here I am, hoping to connect to you through a blog! But the use of technology is in its infancy. A "baby" like this should not be deciding the fate of the human family. We need to mature our relationship with it very quickly before it changes something very fundamental about ourselves and our relations with one another. By all means, use social media to inform and encourage each other... and to set a date for real-life face-to-face conversations and connections.
For those of you who will not take the time to watch the TedTalk below, I hope you will go immediately to the solution by clicking here:
I hope you will use next year to foster more friendship and human connection in your life! You will be happier and healthier if you do. ( I did get feedback that the suggestions I made for parenting in my Stop Cyberbullying post should be applied to the parents!)
What are your thoughts about this? Which of the 150 Things You Can Do to create real connection will you do in the new year? What would you add to that list?
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