The internet or digital world is something that we are all reliant on in today’s society. It is a place for us to visit outside of our day-to-day life and explore a range of different possibilities — many of which are not accessible in the reality we live in. Life online allows you to view the world, socialize with people from different cultures and even talk to someone that lives across oceans. You can do this from any location at anytime with an internet connection (or mobile data). Life online offers a chance to escape normalcy, responsibility, loneliness etc… For most, it has become the only escape available as working long hours, spending time raising children/ family duties takes up most waking hours.
As for our careers and work life, it is essential. Just like electricity.
But as we are heading into the third decade of the modern internet as we know it, how close has this world merged with the real world, and are those lines blurring?
The lines become blurred when you are away from home and remember to buy cat food and pay the monthly bills online. You go from where ever you may physically be, into a reality where buying cat food is as simple as walking into a pet store and picking it up. (though it’s all virtual). But it’s a reality becoming more ‘real’ daily as our existence changes with new devices being added every year that becomes more part of our lives than the computer was just 10 years ago.
Have you ever noticed how agitated and short you can be with someone who disturbs you when you are searching for something online, reading a text message, or scrolling your Instagram feed? It’s almost like it’s painful to be pulled out of one reality to another.
Screens are designed to capture and hold our attention longer than anything else on this planet (I’d argue). And increasingly we don’t even notice how much time online we log in a day.
It’s time we start asking: Are we living an i-life or a real life?
Just think about it… How is your use of technology influencing the way you react to situations in daily life and relationships with other people? Do you feel like your cell phone or tablet is more important than taking five minutes for yourself, and going outside to get some fresh air? Do you spend more time on text messaging than actually talking face-to-face? Have you caught yourself reading articles online while eating breakfast with your family?
If this describes any part of your relationship with technology, then it sounds like we have lost sight of what matters most in our lives. I know I am asking myself these questions lately. Technology is here to stay, and there are many good things about it. But just like real life, we must recognize and address the areas that are unhealthy for us.
Reminding ourselves of this can help us catch those times when we cannot tell the difference between what’s going on inside that mobile device, computer monitor or television, and what is actually taking place in front of our eyes IRL . Let’s be aware!