Too Connected

OPINION PIECE

 

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Photo: L.Nebe

 

I never thought in 2018 that I, as a Millennial, (eeek!) would reminisce on the good ol’ times of “yesteryear”; aka growing up in the 90s in a time when the Internet Age was only just emerging, and the slow pulsating beeps of the dial-up would offer a faint but active signal to peruse the interwebs of bliss, but here we are.

As Joseph Turrow suggests in his book Media Today: An Introduction to Mass Communication; ‘Convergence and globalisation are contemporary trends having a significant impact on all facets of media.’ (Yes, I wrote an essay about this back in the day). But these days; with the digital convergence and continual evolvement of media, most people don’t even have a home phone or computer. Why? Because the smartphone does the job of five and saves consumers a small fortune. But what is the cost of our mental well-being? Are we so fixated on our devices that we can’t switch off to enjoy the simple things in life? Like each other? Apparently not.

The shift to digitalisation of the work-place has put added pressures on staff to constantly be able to diversify their skills and be available to send and receive data or answer calls at any given time. Some jobs require staff being ‘on-call’ which gives many people no option but to be within an eye’s reach of their mobile phones or tablets.

Really? Is that the excuse we will use today? Well who cares. Tell them to get stuffed (politely of course). Switch your phone off and pretend your battery died or that you ‘lost your phone’. Everyone else does it (apparently). What is the world coming to, when you can’t even have a conversation with your significant other because he or she is engrossed in an online heated Twitter debate about the rising cost of pastrami; or that your kids are too ‘busy’ spending their holidays locked in their rooms, feeding their minds with trivial online entertainment?

Is work really an excuse to be married to your devices? The rise of social media and the advancements of technology have seemingly bred a new generation of tech-savvy hipster kids or ‘social isolationists’ that appear to withdraw themselves from everything but their digital connections.

It seems like a far cry from the tree-climbing, bicycle-riding, active explorer kids that I grew up with, in favor of a screen that offers them almost instantaneous self-gratifying measures of supposed self-worth at the click of a button.

Parents, (myself included) have no one to blame but ourselves for providing our children with these devices, and for allowing ourselves to be more interested in our Facebook status updates than little Molly’s sunflower drawing, that she’s been itching all day to show you. Stay connected, of course, this is 2018, we must ‘get with the times’; but for the love of fine wine, let’s just bring it back a notch shall we, and learn to sometimes SWITCH OFF!

 

Love Leanne xx

 

 

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