31 Jan

Are We Overconnected?

I went to a concert last week at The Big Easy.  I won’t tell you what band, but let it suffice to say that I was one of the older patrons in attendance.  There was A LOT of teen angst going on, and most of the male audience members had on both more eyeliner and more hair product than I did.

My friend and I arrived during the sound check, so we had a few beers and watched the crowd that was gathering.  And we talked, to each other.  I don’t have many opportunities to watch the late teen, early 20’s crowd.  My kids aren’t teens yet, and our friends are a mostly Gen Xers or older.  What I saw fascinated me.

There were large groups of kids there.  It was clear that they had come together and that they all knew each other.  Yet, none of them were talking to each other.  Nope.  They were all texting, all the time.  None of them were interacting with the group they were with (except to make out in that incredibly teenaged fashion), they were all individually interacting with their phones.  It was weird.

Then the music started, and everyone stood up. I was on the floor a few rows back from the stage.  The bass was massive, the crowd was moving, and they were all still on their damn phones.  Half of them were jumping up and down while texting, and the other half were trying to yell into their phones over the music.

Why?  Why would someone go somewhere, such as a concert, to be entertained and not unplug themselves long enough to be entertained?  What is that indicative of?  It can’t be good. 

I thought about that whole experience all week.  I found myself very disturbed by it.  What’s going to happen to the upcoming generations who are always plugged in, turned on, and never out of touch?  My theory, based on nothing scientific, is that this constant connectedness makes surveillance and loss of personal freedoms seem much more acceptable. 

On Saturday, Dave and I went out to lunch alone.   We sat down; I took my phone out of my pocket to mute the ringer (because I’m thoughtful like that), thinking we’d have some child-free adult conversation.  What does Dave do instead?  He pulls out his phone and checks his email. 

We had left our house not 30 minutes before, where he had been sitting in front of numerous computer screens for the previous five hours.  What, I asked Dave, could be so important?  What could have happened in the previous 30 minutes that he would have been alerted to electronically, and was so important it couldn’t wait until we got back home? 


So, I challenge you to take note of your habits and disconnect yourself.  Not totally, mind you, as I know all the chipmunks in the computers would  die and you’d all have to get new machines if you stopped using them.  But at least think about how connected you are, and how that affects your life.  I will still be the crazy lady that goes days without turning on my cell and still won’t answer the land line when I feel like it’s intruding; but think about how much time and energy you spend being hooked up all the time, and consider if it’s worth it.

3 thoughts on “Are We Overconnected?

  1. I was driving to work the other day, and thought I was following someone who was driving drunk.. lo and behold, every fews seconds I could see what appeared to be a screen pop up (early morning, it was still dark). The person was responding to text messages while driving. Its just crazy….

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