Wherever I go I am connected by an invisible electronic thumbprint/GPS-like invisible thing. Wherever a computer sits I am connected to the rest of the world. If I am on vacation, I am connected by the computer, cell phone, text, etc. Social Networking may have blasted through the business world and blown wide open my world, but it’s still disconcerting how I cannot escape completely from people.
I’m wedged between being a people-person and a hermit. Part of me could languish for days in a mountain cabin accessible only by helicopter and surrounded by miles of thick wilderness. The other half of me loves people, cares for them, and wants to take away their tears and establish friendships in a good coffee house. Social Networking enables a person to do both—live in the world, or to live a part from the world creating a cyber world who meet in cyber coffee houses.
Someone remarked how I can never escape the people I don’t want in my life anymore. As a writer, I am required to plug into the cyber world and interact with it. My face and name pop up in Google searches now. I have more friends now than in my past. The remarkable thing about the internet is how genuine some of these friendships have become over the span of a year. We share prayer requests, pray with each other, talk to each other, and complain to each other. It’s a whole different world online—a large Christian family. A person must have balance between his cyber world and his real life.
We should on occasion disconnect and plug into real world friends and get away from the computer and from the world that so desperately wants to connect. It’s healthy to pick up a book to read, to take a walk with your best friend, to travel, or to do something, anything other than play Farmville for six hours a day. The computer creates a slushy mind unless we keep it active by balancing our day with a combination of exercise, outdoor activity, reading and computer time.
I can’t escape the world even on vacation. It runs beneath us through cables and in the air we breathe via radio waves. A person cannot walk anywhere anonymously. Now certain camera phones have a geo-tracking chip in them that thieves use to trace a person’s location, and in some Starbuck’s locations you can pay and order your drink through an app before you arrive to pick it up. I love my computer and my ability to navigate through its jungle of commands. I love connecting with people and talking to them, but I wonder what kind of life we would live if computers never existed?