What is happening to us? Are we too busy recording life to fully participate?
This thought train all started after a couple of events I have been to in the last month. The first was at the magnificent Cirque du Soleil where I was engrossed watching brilliant athletes ply their trade in spectacular artistic form. The second was at a traditional wedding.
What struck me at Cirque du Soleil was firstly how technology was integrated into the experience. The second point was how many people (illegally) filmed the performance on mobile telephone devices.
The wedding I attended was a wonderful family affair where two delightful young people committed to a life together. What struck me in the process was the sea of mobile telephones listed above the congregation trying to film everything that was taking place. One more chronologically mature lady was even in the way of official photographers and the bridal party coming down the aisle.
At both events, what struck me from comments of people around me and observing people in both environments was that they were more often concerned about recording what was going on rather than embracing and experiencing the true wonder and beauty around them.
There have been plenty of complaints about the dangers of people with technology. As a community, there is absolutely no shortage of information. We are bombarded with all sorts of opinions, interviews, news, and tweets about everybody’s slightest thought and movement. I mean really, do you care what some D-grade celebrity is having for breakfast? If you do care, you have other issues to worry about that are of greater importance than this blog.
The massive problem is that this information bombardment discounts humanity. You have most likely heard of instances where people are involved at major accidents or injuries, and the first thing that people are doing is filming the the event rather than helping. Filming the wreck is far more important than helping some poor injured soul whose life may hang in the balance. Those on the sidelines are often seeking celebrity, fame or even a potential windfall and keeping them self at arm’s-length.
Where is the humanity? To the best part of 60 years we have been able to view news and events remotely, and now we are bombarded with remote events designed to grab our attention. The problem with having our attention grabbed constantly, is that people have become so insulated from the events broadcast all around the world that we are separated from true human emotions. We can sit in the comfort of our own lounge rooms watching wars take place, and it actually means nothing to us other than entertainment.
Discounting humanity also extends to personal relationships, business, and interactions that we have in our community. How many of you are sitting at night with your partner both participating with technology, and fundamentally ignoring each other? How many of you use technology to babysit your children? These are only two examples of thousands.
I’m not suggesting that you ban technology completely. My coaching is to suggest that if you see that you have a technology problem through your family, take some time to think of solutions. Is it possible to create a “Safe Zone” or “Tech-Free Time” in your household? At the evening meal it may be a great benefit to ban all technology for the duration of the meal. This actually allows human interaction. Who knows, you may even find out something about your kids that you didn’t know. With a bit of practice you may even get to like them!
There are also armloads of evidence about the detrimental effect that unsupervised technology has in children’s bedrooms including televisions.
I am not suggesting that it will be easy to change the attitude and habits of a generation or two. As a parent, my question to you is “Do you want your kids to be participating in life – or just observing it as it goes past?”
Watching the Train Wreck Arrive
There are lots of people who simply allow life to happen to them. It is just a passive description of someone who is a victim to circumstance. If you want your offspring (or yourself) to fully embrace the experience of life and create the life you love, you have to PARTICIPATE. Otherwise you can take the risk that you may be watching a wreck arrive at the station in years to come.
I welcome any comments and if you are interested in discussing this further, simply email me at email@example.com