I recently traveled to Pakistan for a wedding/vacation and captured a series of moments while traveling through Lahore and Karachi. Take a journey with me at this link.
A Tethered Life
What will our society look like in another 5 years when the "internet of things" hits mass scale and over 5 Billion people are connected via mobile devices?
What will our world look like when we're all tethered into one another? When we're never alone and never allowed to just explore our thoughts-- or revel in our boredom or anxiety for a few moments?
Because I think we're already at a tipping point of piss-poor behavior due to this tethering of our lives. I think we're seeing one of the first waves of deviant behavior the internet has enabled-- the wave of ass-hat permeation due to the anonymity of the web.
People are taking their asshole behaviors from the online space into the real world. The sheer lack of empathy and presence for the people around them due to the fact that the web and our mobile devices allow people to act without thought for the effects on those around them.
We bloviate about our problems, thoughts and desires ad-noseum on fuckbook. We text, IM and WhatsApp our fears, problems, joys and opinions non-stop throughout the course of the day. We then take that behavior into the real world by interacting with that same web using mobile phones in situations where we should be engaged in face to face interactions.
We are never totally present.
The young resort worker pushing a cleaning cart checking flipping through her mobile phone updates as she pushes the cart to the next destination.
The coffee barista swiping her thumb across the screen of her phone while she wipes down the foaming wand on the espresso machine.
The young mom checking her text messages while driving down the highway, kids in the back of the minivan headed to the next errand or activity du-jour.
The woman wearing her stress on her face, hunched over her mobile phone on her yoga mat, scrolling through timelines waiting for the class to start. The class that she came to because she was so stressed out by the very action she’s doing while she’s on the mat-- to preoccupied or terrified to sit quietly on a mat for 10 minutes.
Everywhere we look, we're wired in, tethered up and tapped out. We're disengaged and we're not present.
And, when we are present, we're talking loudly on the phone or capturing the latest selfie to show our digital world how amazing we are.
At what point is it all too much? At what point do we tell our young people to unplug?
When they're 30 years old and have no sense of self identity or independence because they are still tethered to their high school selves on fuckbook or their parents on their cell phones? At what point do we recognize the anxiety we cause our loved ones by demanding they always connect with us-- or the pain we cause by connecting with everyone but the people right in front of our faces?
When do we collectively put our phones down, delete our false identities and say enough-- today I'll be present?
Today I'll be real. Today I'll listen. Today, I'll just be.