Okay, I know I’m not the only one who can’t keep her hands off her cell phone and computer. When it isn’t convenient to have my laptop in hand, then I turn to my phone to check email, the weather, the latest news, and more. Thankfully, I don’t text or that would be another reason to keep it close.
Otherwise, I’m married to my computer, which is no surprise to my husband. Much of my world resides there, including the teaching I do for the University of San Francisco’s Fromm Institute—all of the interaction with my students and responses to their assignments that I do via voice recordings. Of course, the recordings have to be emailed to them. And then there is my own writing, my teaching files and apps, not to mention sorting through the many emails generated each day in my personal and professional lives.
Have a question that I don’t want to take time to look up myself? Google it. Go to Delphi. See what the Internet gods and goddesses have to say. Need to make a reservation? Go online. Want a recipe and don’t feel like checking all my cookbooks for one? You’ve got it. Google is my god of choice. Need new shoes? Shop online.
What did I do before computers and cell phones dominated? It’s hard to remember, but clearly I spent more time in libraries and shopping at real stores, not these digital ones. I used my landline more frequently. I talked to friends on the phone instead of by email. Now it’s inconceivable to spend a day without accessing one of these devises, even though I meditate regularly. Meditation may help me stay in the moment, but it doesn’t cause me to drop my dependence on the technological world. If anything, it just makes me more focused on whatever I’m using at the time.
I don’t have any answers for how to avoid this brave new world. It’s impossible to disentangle myself from the web I’m now part of, and I don’t know what that means for my future self. Will I eventually be transformed into a droid?