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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The world is scary, pass me my iPhone

I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole technology distraction topic. I'm taking a class about digital tools and so much of what we're discussing is about this new generation, the iGeneration is what they're being called. How plugged in they are, how much access they have to instant information and how technology is completely embedded in their world.

There's good and bad to technology, I recognize how easy it is to tune out the world and those around you with the distractions on a phone or tablet. I also think there are amazing benefits tech has to offer for our day to day living to make connections with other people and ideas. But most importantly, I think that technology isn't going anywhere unless there's some huge cataclysmic tragedy, which in my opinion is not preferable to the cons of living in a tech world.

And then I read articles about how this generation is going downhill, how we don't know how to play outside, how to have a conversation with a real person, how we're slaves to our devices.

And it all gets me thinking about a conversation Ryan and I had recently. We were talking about empathy, and how we both feel it powerfully, sometimes a bit too much. This empathy for the pain and suffering we see and hear about around the world, makes it difficult for us to always stay connected with the present, because it can be too much. The world itself can be a little too much right now.

When I think about all of the things I've had to worry about in my short 32 years on this planet, it's overwhelming. The little day to day things, like wearing sun block so I don't get skin cancer, to the big things, like nuclear war. I actually wrote some of the most prevalent ones down just to wrap my brain around the worries and fears that I've been warned about since I was a child. If I were to let myself truly be present all the time and think about everything I could and should be worrying about, this is what my brain would look like.

And this isn't everything, just the big baddies that came to my mind first.

So, what's my point?  That's harder to pinpoint. Basically I want to put this thought out... it's easy to judge our generation and the ones coming after for being distracted by technology, but how many of the things on this list did you have to worry about as a child? How many things will be added to this list that's even more terrifying for our children? It's easy to focus our energy on blaming our children for not living the same way we did. But we have to remember they're not living in the same world, and neither are we any more.

We do need to think about these scary things and face them, and hopefully come up with ways to improve our world so there are fewer things to worry about, but sometimes it's ok to look away for a moment so you don't get overwhelmed. 

I'm giving myself (and you if you need it) permission to turn off the scary world for awhile.