INSTANT ACCESS BLISS OR INSTANT ACCESS ANXIETY?

“I run my life.  Or is it running me?”  Lady Antebellum

All this busy, “instant access” lifestyle that we find ourselves locked inside, makes me wonder sometimes about what it all really means.

On one hand it is miraculous.

On the other, it can seem the ultimate epitome of diminishing returns.

Hence, I pose 2 poll questions to consider.  And the first one sounds reminiscent of all those Presidential debate questions—“Are we better off now?”

So here goes.  Option 1: Is the quality of your life better now, or more fulfilling in other words, with all these revolutionary internet/computer conveniences at your finger tips compared to how you previously lived (for us old enough to be considered baby boomers) back in the 70s or 80s before the internet?

Or Option 2:  Or has all this hyper connectivity mainly just reduced you (or us) to a far more heightened state of discontent while frantically trying to keep up?

Change is relative of course and even young adults in their late teens and early 20s (I’m a bit hazy on the generational label they are supposed to receive) can feel nostalgia and dismay at the rapid rate in which devices from their younger days have been quickly supplanted or upgraded.

No doubt your first inclination is to muddy up my study by maturely responding that “YES” you believe both options to be equally true as the answers merge and become entwined about what computers mean in your life.

But it bears some introspection.  Because if we lose the ability to find balance and moderation between our virtual and real interactions, all we end up doing is finding fantastically artificial ways to squander large portions of our waking hours sharing and regurgitating the latest face book tips on “10 ways to lose weight even faster” or heed the latest scare tactics–“3 ways that water puddles could be dangerous to your dog.”

But be careful.  Because nowadays the escalation never ends, nor does the compunction to respond to another’s response with the correct emoji (or for that matter the desire to use our cell phones for everything under the sun EXCEPT actual phone calls).

But my advice is NOT to pull out.  No.  Don’t go OFF grid forever brothers and sisters.  We need each other’s awkwardness and clumsiness (to paraphrase the poet Delmore Schwartz)

There are some wonderfully transcendental aspects to face book and to researching information and in bringing the world closer together.

Just remember the bottom line:  That we need to inform everything we do with meaning and what feels right to us.  This means to disregard the fashionable, vacuous aspects and stick with anything that circles and dove tails back to our deepest core beliefs.

Those same core beliefs that never leave us when we are awake in the middle of the night or meditating while out on a long dog walk.

This means that the internet is edifying only to the extent that it facilitates our dreams, visions, and creative muse.  If we allow ourselves to become seduced in merely following the whims of wherever the internet wind blows; then we are allowing the cart to lead the horse.

What is the end focal point in which our ultimate goals lie?  Because of it is merely in things, and the attainment that things provide, then our goals truly do LIE.

Which brings this little essay to a halt.  And what better way to offer a final word than to quote from scripture.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”  Mathew 6:21

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About John Watts

I like to write transcendental community based essays and stories along with photo journalism pieces.
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