My friend DaCoacha is now retired, living the life. He is a regular reader of the Webman’s blog and as he tells me he has time on his hands to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it. DaCoacha is not worried about the life/work balance because he has put a check in the work box and can now solely focus on the things he likes to do with the people he likes to do them with. I can regularly find him on Facebook after many years of being disconnected. A very good thing, by the way, as we can find and locate the many people that we grew up with and reconnect in some way after so many years. Would not have happened without the technology.
Many of you have teenage children or have observed their behavior of being constantly connected. They will have friends over let’s say to watch a movie. While watching they will constantly be on the ready with the phones, waiting for the little bell or ding to go off, identifying a new rather important to them text, tweet, Facebook post, e-mail or some other form of incoming information. They immediately respond to the news, regardless of whether they are in a conversation with a friend or just watching the movie. My favorite is when they are actually texting the people they asked over to watch the movie, when they are in the same room!
I have an on-going debate with one of my daughters over what I call “obsessive texting”. She says, “Dad, I am just going to text so and so to see how he or she is doing.” Seems harmless enough right. I have then observed her actions over the course of the day and she will still be texting with that person, still finding out how they are doing. How long does it take to find out how someone is doing? A 10 minute conversation? Asking them to come over to hang out and talk? No, finding out how someone is doing has now taken the form of 500 text messages to determine how he or she is doing. When I ask the question, the answer is, “Oh dad, she is fine.” 500 texts for that? Geez.
Communication has been changed forever by technology. There certainly is no going back. The question is how can we all utilize these capabilities in a way that does not cause us more stress, where we can truly connect with the people we enjoy, love and admire. Where we can learn the things we not only need to learn but want to learn?
Let me know your thoughts on this topic by posting your comments below. More to come this week.