Monday, May 17, 2010

Instant Gratification

I sometimes joke that with my BlackBerry, I now know instantly when I have junkmail. In this age of increased connectivity, instant access to information and immediate notifications - I feel like we we are losing something. I know instantly when someone sends me an e-mail or even posts a comment on my facebook wall. The walls in our lives are slowly coming down. Our lives are no longer compartmentalized, but are all interconnected and can be carried in your pocket. This device that is the key to your business, personal, private and public life.

We not only carry it around with us to keep us connected, but we actually expect others to stay connected at all times as well. Missed calls or texts that are not replied to in a timely manner are met with criticism. Our mobile phones are sometimes called an electronic leash, but instead of loosening the noose, we continually tighten it. We add more and more of our lives to this device.

We are changing as a society. As we grow more and more accustomed to this, we demand things of others and ourselves quicker, faster, immediately. We are losing that sense of wonder and anticipation that I think we desperately need.

I find myself falling in this trap and I need to get out. I've watched e-mails replace the art of writing letters, instant messages replacing e-mails, text message replacing phone calls. It has gotten to the point that I am actually nostalgic over the lost art of writing AIM away messages. Don't get me wrong, not all of this is bad - trust me, I would probably rather just text you rather than be stuck on the phone with you. You just sometimes need to get away from it all.

So to that, I pledge that I am going to turn off my phone, not reply to your texts and refuse to allow technology to become a leash. I will break free from these self imposed chains and let my mind wander until it decides to come back. Those who want to join me are welcome.

A world of instant gratification isn't that gratifying.

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