As I walk down the road to the bus, I meet a lady walking a dog. She stops and says “I love your jacket!” And so we talk for the whole ten minutes as I walk to the bus stop. Wow, I think, so many mutual connections and a great lady to boot – what a fabulous chance encounter.
As I hop on the bus, all I can hear is silence. Every single person is on their phone, not one person looks up as I walk through to bus to find a seat. I can’t help but think, “how did social media and the rise of technology cause us to become so anti-social?” The only word I hear after the whole twenty-minute bus ride is a mumbled “thank you” to the bus driver as we all hop off the bus, ready to start the day. Yes, I know this is probably common in all public transport scenarios the world over, but I can’t help thinking how this tends to spill over into our daily lives. At cafes, restaurants, bars, couples out for dinner, concerts (to get the best video or pic) rather than just enjoying the show. The constant need to feel and look busy, to capture a moment.
Social media, it seems, is not all it is cracked up to be. In fact, it seems to be the complete opposite, the most anti-social platform created under the guise of social interaction!
Yes, I am equally guilty, trying to do work, then scrolling aimlessly through Facebook, reading the news, checking LinkedIn and then Instagram and Snapchat to see what everyone has been doing on the weekend. Constantly flip-flopping from one thing to the next, without so much as a pause in between.
I start thinking, why is this attachment to my phone so addictive? Why can’t I give myself five minutes of peace to stop the non-stop stimulus and chatter in my brain?
Without my phone, I feel almost sick, Uncomfortable and nervous. What if someone’s trying to contact me? What if something’s gone wrong? What am I missing out on?
Is it just me or does it seem that we are in a constant state of either:
a) feeling like we are not doing enough – continually organising / responding to / or getting things done, just because we can
b) in fear of missing out on what is going on or constantly having to capture what is going on in our current situation
c) mindlessly occupying our brains with entirely utterly useless information and wasting away hours, sometimes while also watching tv and not concentrating on either.
Or all of the above!
To me, this all ends up making me feel inadequate – like I’m never doing enough, there is always more to be done, and that somehow every other person is in Bali, Thailand or Fiji having a fantastic holiday and I’m stuck in my cold house with my broken heat pump!
Like I’ve somehow missed out on my reason for being, what pleases me and keeps me excited about life.
The only remedy I can think of for this is to try and be more present in the moment, ignore our phones, put them out of reach and socially interact with people rather than having our phones stuck to us. Stop trying to take a photo or a video and enjoy the moment. Become more emotionally available to those around us, and experience what is happening at that very moment.
Make ourselves open to conversation, to the possibility of actual human interaction, and fulfilment. After all, that is what my entire industry is based around, human interaction and making those connections. It would be a sad day if recruitment were to turn into complete digital communication, only video interviewing and instead of being greeted by a receptionist, you are greeted by an Ipad.
Yes, technology will always be there, but maybe we need to be aware of how it is making us feel, and perhaps be stricter on ourselves, and get a life outside of our virtual reality.