Last week I sent away my smartphone to Samsung. The week before, it had begun to overheat and destroy my batteries, so I sent it in for repair. I knew I had become used to having a continuous connection to the world, but I had no idea how bad it really was.
This morning I hopped on a plane to fly to Salt Lake to do some training for work. The entire day was full of things worth sharing. Photos, sights, thoughts. I wanted to share constantly and was imprisoned within myself, unable to shout at everyone, and no one, my immediate and inane thoughts and feelings as I would on Facebook or Google+.
I had my good camera with me, but it was hard to feel comfortable in the airport or plane with my professional camera where pulling out my phone would have seemed far more innocuous. The continuous stream of interesting people, gorgeous cloud formations, and cool cars just taunted me as I had to continue moving on with only my memory to record the moment.
I’ve been contemplating the harm caused by all of this connectivity. Without my continuous link to my friends via social networks, I’m not sure what effect it has. I feel as though I desire real connections even more. The constant social connection seems to be enough interaction to keep my hunger for more face-to-face meetings at bay. Is there real value in the tiny amount of information passed back and forth over the network? Or is it just enough to keep me from seeking out real time spent with my friends? We often say that Facebook and the like allow us to keep up with family and friends we might not otherwise see, but what if they actually give an excuse to avoid real interaction, with all of its associated messiness?