screen illusion

I had a good day visiting some of my old haunts in London today. Wednesday is offically a study day which I did on the train and in the morning in the British Library before disappearing to the sacred cafe to study some more..

Due to all the stuff that has been happening recently I really needed opportunity to talk with a trusted ordained friend who could help with some objective reflection from an understanding from knowing the kind of work and me. It was great to meet up with Jeremy and we enjoyed lunch together. Thanks my friend!

After lunch I drifted towards the Southbank via the Regent Street Apple store where I made a couple of small purchases with the aim of helping my back while working on my laptop. I got a pretty cool stand and wireless keyboard from birthday present money. I can feel the benefits already as I type on the new keyboard.

While sitting outside the BFI with a drink I studied some more before watching people ambling or racing along the riverside. It’s always fascinating to sit and watch the different behaviours of different people. Some rushing, some loitering, some enjoying the sun, others reading, still others chatting. Everyone was seemingly doing something different.

But … I noticed today one universal behaviour. Every few minutes, or seconds in some cases, people were checking their mobile phones. The phones were not on silent but it was as if people were concerned that they were missing messages. I’m convinced that some were willing text messages to appear.

It seems to have become a habit and I thought this when my daughter challenged me only the other day when we were out together. ‘Why did you get your mobile out to check it dad?’ ‘Good question … errr I dunno!’

We are supposedly very social creatures, and maybe in our personal isolations that we create when we are in places like London we have a secret fear that these isolations may become permanent. Do we live in fear of being cut off? Of missing the latest up to date message?

As an aside more and more people seem to be joining Twitter. I left it a few weeks ago because I just did not get it. I didn’t really want to know what people were doing every minute of their lives whether it was baking cakes or reading shiny vampire novels! Saying that, I feel a certain pressure to resurrect my twitter account!

I wonder whether texts, facebook, twitter etc. may draw us into an illusion that we are communicating with each other, that we are in community with each other and that we are not alone. If gives us a fairly attractive illusion of personal interaction. Now I do facebook and I ‘get’ facebook and I do feel very connected through it. But because of facebbook updates I know what is happening in my friends lives, and that surely must be a good thing!

But …what I have noticed is that and I am now a lot less less inclined to ring a person or visit them to catch up with some people. A few years ago I might have done, now I look for the updated status. It’s possible to make comments, but once a few people have congratulated, or sent concerns, offers of help etc. it does seem quite an empty thing to do to offer what others already have.

Weirdly, the more connected we feel through such applications, the more isolated we actually are as we hide behind our screens of various sizes. We think we are living together when in actual fact we are being sucked into our screens.

And what am I doing …. sharing this with you through my blog, from behind my screen, but at least it is safe here ….

One thought on “screen illusion

  1. To help your back indeed! I shouldnt make fun of your back because I know how much pain you have been in but I think I feel a twinge coming on, I am off to the apple store too. (he he)I too get embarrassed and have been challenged over my random pulling out of the phone for no reason at all.But I see it like this, I am in a large social bubble that I can connect with anyone i want to anytime of the day in any place and I love that, it makes me feel like I am never alone and I guess its when I feel alone that I get my phone out.

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