“Invisible threads are the strongest ties” – Friedrich Nietzsche
This quote by the German Philosopher was made way back in the 19th century. But its relevance is all the more valid in today’s world. And I’ll tell you how. A couple of days ago, I met a friend. A friend I loved not too long ago; a bond that I used to boast about to the rest of the world. I was meeting him after a long time (well not really, it was just a couple of months but I discount those meetings because they were what I call ‘social’ meetings). It was a year since we had had a long and genuine conversation and I was really looking forward to the meeting.
So I saw him and smiled excitedly as I always did when I saw him. But beyond that there was no familiarity. We talked, we laughed and then there was the silence. We didn’t know what more to talk about. So we did what everyone else was doing nowadays. We started sharing pictures, videos on our phones, and that’s what we spoke about for the rest of day. The meeting is not the objective of this blog. What happened after the meeting is. I was laughing at myself for the stupidity we showed by resorting to our phones to bridge the gap. And then it hit me. Isn’t that where the gap is nowadays? The internet, the phones were all made so that we could connect with each other. But are we connecting anymore? Or simply showing our presence in each other’s lives by popping up on their social networking space? I ditched my phone for the morning walk I took the next day and discovered the world for what it is.
And this is the brief collection of my thoughts that day. When you disconnect, this is what happens:
- You meet people, for what they are. Not for what their social profile says they are. You see their beautiful and real faces. Not the made up ‘display pictures’.
- You end up having real conversations. Not just conversations on some forum, hiding behind anonymity. You share emotions, feelings, thoughts. Not pictures, videos, and certainly not comments. You figure people out for what they truly are, what they stand for. Not just what their ‘status’ stands for.
- You let your mind wander and speak what it has to. You don’t flood it with unnecessary information. You can hear your inner voice, share with you what your subconscious has been working on.
- You see the beautiful nature and experience it. Not just see them on an HD display on your phone or tablet and ‘tag’ it as a “must see place”.
- You can hear the music of nature, the music in traffic (our self-created environment); you can hear the music of the world. Not just a song collection you go over and over again.
- You can befriend people with the perfect shake of hand or a bear hug. Not just ‘poke’ them to remind them that you are alive.
- You can run free and wild as far as your body takes you without worrying about the ‘stats’ your fitness app figures for you.
- You can taste the food and every ingredient in it. Not just take pictures of it and write reviews.
I could go on but I won’t because I can honestly (really) see some people shake their head in disagreement. Let me save you the trouble there and scrutinize my own words for you. For example, the fitness app point. I absolutely agree that these apps/technology are for our benefit and yes, they only make our lives easier. Please understand we need a balance in life. I don’t mean to say, throw your phone into the ocean (as awesome as that sounds to me)! That’s being a little extreme! All I’m saying is, that in our rush to connect we have disconnected from ourselves, from our world, from our souls. Maybe we over-did it. And it’s time we took a step back and disconnected just for a bit. Just so that we can connect back to ourselves, our roots.
Trust me; nothing is more full-filling than having real relationships and a real connection that doesn’t need a computer to remind us of it. Let’s just go back to holding hands when we walk, instead of holding on to our phones and updating statuses.