While on the ferry heading towards New London, I stood out on the deck watching the approaching harbor.
As I moved around the vessel I glanced into the windows of the ferry cabin. Most of the people lining the window seats weren’t looking out the window. They were staring down… into their phones.
Welcome to the Borg. You Will Be Assimilated.
“What are we doing?” I thought.
We’re sitting around staring into lighted rectangles getting high on photographs of other people enjoying their lives. I probably picked up on it because I am guilty of it.
There is no denying that I get wrapped up in social media. Sometimes I rely on it as a crutch or a time filler. But there was a large part of my life when it wasn’t available. How has it become something so addictive?
The gift of having a supercomputer in your pocket allows you tell your story to a wide audience – in real time if you want to. You can discover new and wonderful ideas, create connections, see beautiful places that perhaps you can’t reach in life. Maybe the key is just moderation?
And maybe circumstance. For example – If you’re visiting the Sequoia trees, sure take some pictures but don’t miss actually being there because your mind is on the phone. This kind of throws back to something I posted last year about selfies. You see throngs of young people taking selfies at famous places but all you see is their mug hogging up the frame. They could be anywhere. They aren’t actually sharing a view from wherever they are. Strange.
Since I stare at a computer all day to make a living, I do tend to get burned out. Being on my motorcycle is the perfect opportunity for me to disconnect. When riding I’m present in the moment. Yes, my mind does also wonder about abstract topics or things I’d like to do, writing the story of my imaginary life where I am a superheroine, or finishing open-ended conversations – but I am able to think with a clarity I don’t find in any other way. It’s interesting how relaxed one is at 75mph while sitting on whirling metal parts and a jug of gasoline.
It probably sounds silly and maybe ridiculously obvious but there is a palpable feeling of freedom when my brain is not being bombarded with digital information. Unfettered time is required for me to write this very blog. I can’t get the words out when my mind is cluttered.
Ride More. Be Free.
It would seem that I feel better about my blog when I don’t force it. It may seem counterintuitive but I actually write more in less time when I don’t “work” on it. That’s when I just purge my thoughts out (like now). So, that’s my task for this summer. Ride more, feel more, write more. Be free.