I saw this infographic today, and it got me thinking. Not easy these days to “think” we are practically connected to a device of some definition almost twenty-four hours a day.
My first thoughts were the other day I began to write a letter. Strange I know, why not e-mail? Well, this was a Ugandan child who I sponsor, not only does his family not have e-mail but also a handwritten letter still means the world to some.
But I found that my handwriting was shockingly bad. I remember those glorious days when I could write with a fountain pen in school; perfectly joined up writing that flowed. Now it looks like my handwriting when I was twelve. But that is what the infographic shows, our reliance on technology has changed the way we live.
Remember those days when looking at the photos from a party would mean walking to the nearest chemist to get the film developed? Some would not turn out so well; others would have that sticker saying “Bad lighting” on. But the excitement of getting the film developed seems like the world ago.
Facebook used to be graffiti on a subway wall, knowing who was “In a relationship” was often defined by initials carved into a tree. Or sometimes “it’s complicated” would be written on a toilet.
Changing a video would mean sticking some tape over a VHS cassette, not editing in IMovie.
All seems like a lifetime ago.
But this post isn’t about how much better life was then or how I miss the “good old days”. The days are always good. What I do think we are missing is the connection we have to those close to us.
Communication has helped don’t get me wrong! Facetiming my family is a lifeline! Nothing beats those Sunday afternoons where I can see my family back in the UK face to face. And they can see me. Those Sunday afternoons that used to be routine now are no longer trivial they are priceless moments.
But when I think of communication I also reflect on how we miss the simple things like making a phone call. Those times are changing. Hearing a voice of a loved one so far away, especially as they age, means more than a simple SMS, Facebook post or Skype message.
When is the last time you received a handwritten letter from a parent? Mine still do! They mean the world to me.
Communication shapes the way that we live our lives. Just looking at the data above means that we rely on technology more than ever to stay in touch with the world. But there is no harm in mixing old with new.
Will leave you with one thought. Especially since I am talking about the value of time.
I was walking to work the other day when an elderly Swedish gentleman asked me the time. I looked down at my smartwatch and embarrassingly said: “Sorry, my watch needs charging.”
He took his pocket watch out of his waistcoat and said: “It’s ok it is eight forty-five.”
Time is precious. Don’t be connected to devices all the time.