I sit in solitude on my porch steps with eager anticipation. The air is cold and it is obvious Fall is here both on the calendar and temperature of 57 degrees, though the wind and cloudy skies make it feel colder. I am stubbornly enduring the chilly air awaiting for my mailman's imminent arrival. A new lens, Sigma 35mm Art, will be added to my photographic arsenal. I am so excited, but this excitement has also resulted in reflection. So much eager anticipation over a new 'thing' that I am out in the cold. Normally, I'd be hibernating in the warmth indoors. We're all so addicted to technology that it becomes easy to be disconnected from nature at a time when we need to be outside rather than in.
There was once a time in my life before computers and technology were the primary focus. A time before I had a cellphone. I time where radio and TV were luxuries. Now, I spend most of my days and nights invisibly tethered to my laptop editing photos, working on my website, emails and inquiries, social media, accounting and invoicing and every other trivial task required as a business owner, mother and wife. Even when I have a day off, I'm still on my iPhone 6 Plus handling inquiries and social media. I don't have time to enjoy games or apps with no purpose except to waste time via colorful distractions.
Therein lies another issue. Time. We're dying from the moment we are born and are literally running out of time, yet we are so absorbed and distracted by technology we forget how to act and react to life. We become boxed into a cycle of repetitive motions. Where is the fun? Where is the freedom? Why so serious?
For me, I miss the feeling of having nothing to do. Being so bored that you let go and let imagination provide entertainment. The feeling of childhood where you had no companion but the wind in the trees and the auditory stimulus of nature to uplift the soul.
So now, I sit here and I look around. I realize just how greatly I long for the silence of modern existence. No more Facebook to lure me to check my notifications or newsfeed multiple times a day (more like hour), no more hiding behind a computer for a social life. No more being totally eloquent online and awkward or overly eccentric in person. I remember having friends who would call or email to talk and share every moment. I am so very lonely. With social media, such moments have lost their value in society. It's become so easy to communicate that the work to maintain is gone. It's far to easy to 'unfriend' someone for being different and without working on relationships manually, they often fail. We may smile when we get a photo compliment or a birthday wish, but how lonely is it to realize how many of your 'friends' said nothing because of Facebook's algorithms resulting in a post seen by only a few? How sad it is that so many of us rely on the interaction of the internet for approval and justification for our lives and emotions.
As a society we've become disconnected, relying on social media and technology to do all the work for us. So dependent, that we forget a birthday, miss a death and fail to even notice we've been 'unfriended' by one those who we once could've never been parted. So take the time to call, visit or mail (you know, USPS) someone right now. Then get offline and go outside. Hot or cold, wet or dry...nature is where we should be connecting. Arrange a cookout or hiking adventure. Camp or swim freely under the stars. Life is too short not to live it fully. Let go of that need to be social and just be authentic and open to new experiences.