In my last post I talked about juggling family life and work. This has got me thinking about how we are always connected to the world via social media and the internet.
With the development of smart phones we have become instantly contactable at all times day or night. I know first-hand that my mobile is permanently connected to either Wi-Fi or data and I am guilty of running to it at the first ‘ping’ whatever I am doing.
Why is this?
To be honest I think I am addicted.
My name is Sarah and I am addicted to my phone
How do I know this?
Well in April I had my phone stolen. Initially I felt like I’d lost a limb, then I was concerned about all my personal data – particularly the photos of my girls, and finally I began to panic about what would happen if someone wanted to contact me.
Why did I feel like this and was this rational?
Well I hadn’t lost a limb and losing one of my children would have been much much worse – as my husband reminded me!
My personal data was a concern and I think the only rational thought I had.
Being contactable wasn’t really an issue; life could go on if I didn’t have a phone surely? But I was so stressed out about this more than anything. What would happen if one of my girls was taken ill at school or nursery, what if one of my friends texted me, how would I keep up with Facebook, I might miss an email – I felt lost – I was no longer connected.
Why are we so reliant on our phones?
I am still young enough to remember a time when we didn’t have mobiles and on a night out you had 20p taped to your shoe so you could phone home in an emergency.
Recently someone said to me that they were probably the last generation to have been brought up without technology at home (they were 25)! My own children will never know a time without tablets, phones and the internet. Children see their parents constantly using technology and they work out how to do it at such a young age – my 16 month old can take photos using my phone.
Do we need to be connected?
Is it necessary to have a constant connection to the outside world? Would family time be better if we were a little less distracted by the ‘ping’ of our phones? Would it matter if we didn’t reply to that email, Facebook post or tweet until tomorrow?
Are our online connections replacing our face to face connections? When was the last time you called a friend to make plans rather than text? How often to you meet up with your online friends in real life?
Earlier this year Gary Turk produced ‘Look Up’ a video that explored how much time we spend connected but actually alone. This video sums up my thoughts for today.