This Sunday the New York Times published a fantastic article about an important trend from an interesting angle. I was so proud of them.
I recommend reading Sherry Turkle's entire piece: The Flight From Conversation - a look at how our attachment to devices (the "i suite" and more) have made us more connected, but less conversational. It's interesting, and scary, and true.
For my own part, in response to the piece, I thought I'd reveal my TECHNOLOGY TRUTHS. I tend to read these social commentary pieces and think, "thank god I don't do that crazy thing these sad, Americans do," (yes, I am American, but sometimes I feel like I'd rather not be) but this time I'm one of them, right down to my occasional attempts at trying to maintain eye contact with R while sending a text to someone else. So...deep breath...here goes:
- I ALWAYS say, "Sorry, I'm listening, keep talking," to a friend/colleague/boyfriend while I text/search/e-mail on my iPhone. The truth is that I hear about 15 percent of what they're saying and typically have to ask them to repeat something. This is rude.
- The idea of being alone somewhere (a bar, coffee shop, movie theater) without my iPhone is terrifying to me. I don't want someone to see me just looking around, taking in life. They'll think I'm some sort of weirdo.
- The other day I went somewhere, didn't upload any Instagrams from that location, and for a moment thought, well that was a waste. This is sick.
- I get incredibly annoyed when people don't respond quickly to e-mails. I respond quickly to ALL e-mails because I have my phone on me! What is everyone else doing?? Paying attention to their boyfriends and enjoying actual life?? How dare they.
- Sometimes I think about calling all my best friends who live far away but then just text them something simple instead. This is a combination of sheer laziness and the incorrect feeling that a phone conversation is a big deal. It's not. It's an important deal.
- If you asked me when the last time I talked to _______ was, I'd probably quote you a number based on the last time we g-chatted. I know that doesn't count, but the real number is too embarrassing.
- I could Skype with my parents, but it makes me miss them more when I see their faces, so I just text or call.
- The most wonderful and important romantic relationship I've had in my life did not include texting for the first two full months. He called me on the phone exclusively, and that's how I knew it was going to be as good as it's turned out to be.
POST YOUR OWN TECHNOLOGY TRUTHS BELOW IN COMMENTS. Maybe we can shame each other into better digital behavior. I know I'm going to do my part to try and be a little less connected, and a little more real.