What I failed to calculate is the cost of my fierce individuality: the loss of emotional resources that turned out to be critical for enjoying my achievements and successes. [Dr. Will Miller, Dr. Glenn Sparks]
In this day and age, it’s hard to remember what life was like before we were online all the time. What would I be doing before bed if there was no Netflix or YouTube? What would I be doing when I’m alone waiting in line? What would I do to show my friends all the awesome food I’m having or the awesome hike I went on or the awesome life I live? (Please note the sarcasm as actually a satire on what might actually be a half-truth about our thought processes.)
All these different needs and compulsions we experience now are purely self-made. We have no innate desire to do these things. They didn’t exist before the age of technology, and we were never longing for this. This is not the way we were meant to live. Being online should not be the norm; we should not be at a point where we’re only “on” and functioning properly if we’re on our phones or computers.
When we focus so much on connecting to other people via every single “social” network out there, we sacrifice connecting with them. We think that having more mediums to communicate with someone will bring us closer together, when in fact it breeds isolation because that actually becomes the excuse not to see someone.
What is arguably one of the most pressing issues today is isolation created by the American culture of individualism. We perceive others as threats in this rat race we call life. We’re always putting our best foot forward, not wanting to appear weak or inferior. And so we don’t share our struggles with people. We put in our headphones on the way to class or work, sit in every other seat in the lecture hall, and put our headphones back in as we bustle off to whatever next activity we have in store for ourselves. And it repeats. And repeats.
Adult life can be very isolating if we’re not careful; isolation is the default. They say you can only choose two things between work/school, social life, and sleep. If we’re so busy investing in our careers and sleeping to compensate for the physical and mental exhaustion, there’ll be no one there with us at the top, if we ever even get there. The view is only nice when there’s someone to enjoy it with. Let us live in community together, as followers of Christ, the way we were designed to. We were created for something more than the confines of limited battery life.
Musings From the Bus Bench is a new series on different observations of the reality we live in today, all my ponderings as I commute by bus to my internship every week. Seeing and then reflecting on the world around is the first step to understanding the spiritual warfare we engage in everyday.