My family went bowling the other night. It was a new bowling alley. My parents had never been on a Friday night and I hadn’t been at all. We were all a little taken aback when we found gigantic TV screens everywhere, lights turned down, and loud music pumping. Granted, half of the building is a sports bar. But even the bowling section seemed more dedicated to TV and food than bowling. Our biggest complaint was that the guide arrows half way down the alley were invisible in the dark (I will put in here that my family has a long bowling tradition. We take it pretty seriously). We all bowled terrible. The noise and flashing images were completely distracting.
After one game we abandoned ship to go watch a movie. Appropriately, my dad chose “Star Trek: Insurrection.” The movie itself was a bit of a flop. But the content was interesting. At the center of the plot was a community of people (the Ba’ku) who was as technologically advanced as Starfleet, but chose to abandon that technology for a simpler lifestyle.
Those who know me probably know how often I get frustrated by technology saturation. (This may well be the first of many rants) But I can’t deny how attractive it is and how easily I get sucked into it. Not only is it alarmingly easy to binge watch T.V. shows on Hulu, waste hours on Facebook, pretend you are living someone else’s life on Pinterest, and watch tutorials on YouTube, but there is significant peer pressure to do so.
When I do take breaks from social media, people guilt trip me for not keeping up with them. As soon as I take a break from Pinterest my friend tells me all the practical ways its changed her life for the better. And then there’s the fact that if I cut out social media/technology from my life to spend time with people, most of those people are spending time on technology themselves. So I am left alone and disconnected from the world and I inevitably feel like I am missing out on life (as if life were now defined by the internet). That’s why a “coordinated attack” is probably the only really viable option. As with other things, it’s important to find people in your life who share the same values.
But I am not saying that all this technology is necessarily bad. It just changes how you live your life. Like anything, it can be unhealthy when it is abused. Through it all, make sure you have real connections with real people in your life.