I have a love hate relationship with technology. I find computers and software easy to use and I enjoy fixing hardware and removing malware for family and friends. I do enjoy it. I like changing a mother board, trying out new programmes, editing photos, reading articles, building a website contributing to forums and writing this blog.
But it is a fine line between loving and hating it. It bothers me the amount of time that’s sucked into a black hole when I switch my computer on.
For a very short while I had a smart phone but it became a nuisance. Emails and Facebook alerts were there all the time. There was no escaping the electronic world. Someone recently described the device I have now as a dumb phone. Most of the time it is switched off and in a drawer.
Looking around me lots of other people are totally absorbed in their mobile cell phones, missing out on what’s happening immediately in front them. It’s so easy to get drawn into that spider’s web of having to know right now what your friends are saying, what’s happening in the news or what people think of you. Humanity cries out for acceptance and praise and it comes at the superficial press of the Like button.
The virtual world falls short of the real one. When people update their status on Facebook they are revealing a tiny part of what is happening in their lives. Showing to the world only what they want to advertise themselves. “Public Relations” is no longer the remit of just the business world.
Think about all the things that have happened to you over the last year that you have not told the world in your blog or in social media. Everyone else had had their highs and lows too and you and I have no idea what’s actually been going on. That happy girl you once knew at school, the one that has been talking about their trip overseas, is suffering domestic violence. The boy you used to work with has a brother with cancer and his job is not going well, but he has been seeing someone new. That person you speak to in a forum had their marriage break up recently and has applied for a new job and has started jogging.
One in ten of your friends are likely to have problems with alcohol. One in four has suffered mental health illnesses. Over one in ten often feel lonely.
Being kind to people is good for you. It lowers your blood pressure, reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke and cancer. It also engenders other people to show kindness in return. When was the last time you called someone up who you usually just meet through Facebook. Why not phone just to say hello and find out how they are? Instead of liking their post, how about sending them a private message or even posting a card or a letter? How about going out for a meal, a coffee or a winter’s walk? If you do, switch that phone off.
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