Cell phones and social media

We’ve gained an infinite world of remote connectivity and lost the eternal here-and-now.

 But it’s been a long time coming. Sometimes I even think marriage is just a way of remoting a primeval, flesh-and-blood connection into a contractual abstraction.

 

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26 thoughts on “Cell phones and social media

  1. “lost the eternal here and now.” Agreed. But its not just that spiritual aspect, it is also lessening the social instincts that also make us human. We learn to deal with each other at a distance as our default position.

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  2. Isn’t civilization itself the result of contractual abstraction? The eternal here and now is eternally here and now; never subject to loss, only to ignorance. The cure to remoteness is as available as helping your neighbor to weed his garden next weekend. Who would turn down help with weeding?

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  3. We can’t really escape this whole virtual life that’s taking over. And I have to admit I think it’s a great way to stay in touch with lots of people in a very easy way.

    On the other hand… the last time I checked facebook must have been at least a month ago. Personal contact always beats the screen, imo.

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    • Thanks for the positive, Samantha. I too like how you can stay in touch with lots of people easily. There’s definitely an up side there, and I feel it in my own life. The down side (for me) is having all of these abstract connections 24/7, any one of which can give an electronic flicker at any moment. It’s harder to relax fully into the moment. So I guess the up side is the down side. Ok, now my brain is in a knot.

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  4. I love how you label it “…an infinite world of remote connectivity…” The fact is, clicking “like” in many cases has replaced actual conversation. I have friends who talk about how they have reconnected with people all over the world thanks to facebook, etc, but they never actually have conversations with them. There are occaisional comments on posts, but I am not sure how that replaces a letter or a phone call. We are becoming used to a world where the word “communication” is over-used. Hope I am not too negative! It is a great food-for-thought post.

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    • Thanks, Stefanie. I’ve felt it both ways — made some lovely reconnects on Facebook which led to live meetings with old friends — but disillusioned that the we now mostly live in the electronic web, subject to its jittery pulsations 24/7, with no breathing room for the here and now. (You might enjoy a glance at my Gary’s Books link, which includes a picture book and a YA novel.)

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  5. “an infinite world of remote connectivity”

    Yes, but the connection is only electronically 🙂
    To me people can have 452345234 facebook-friends, 354135 followers on social media and stick to their cellphones 24/7 but they are more lonely than ever before. That could be the reason why people get addicted to their cellphone, they seem to need it like oxygen. Social media and loneliness are like drinking sea water when you’re thirsty.
    Do an experiment: Go out and watch people that meet up in a cafe or whatever and try to count how often they check their phones 🙂
    They have their companion right next to them but they feel the urge to check out their phone and refresh their status on twitter.

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    • I’m with you, Lisa. Sometimes I think the invention of the telephone is the great catastrophe of modern times. My concession is that I often see people who seem very social in real life and also very connected through social media, and I’m not sure that my own standard applies to them. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure that my standard and yours match up 🙂

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