late night ramblings: a society too big for its britches

So despite the fact that technology has always been an integral part of my life {thanks mainly to the generation I was born into}, I still have my days of sighing "Woe to you, internet. You devilish can of worms. You, dear one, have spurred on wayyyy too much, too soon."

Yes, yes, the internet brought about the information age {every answer you could possibly need at the touch of your fingertips!}, a better chance at equalizing education standards across the country {one day kids born into poverty could be smarter than those well to-do kids in the northeast}, & just plain ole curiosity {why does the rain in Spain fall mainly on the plain?}. 

BUT, as usual, the internet came before its time & with it came all sorts of new (albeit, late-blooming) issues: hazy/nonexistent governing laws, the slow death of brick & mortar stores, the noticeably missing taxes that would have come from the brick & mortar stores, & the inability to understand any sort of spelling/grammar rules {we can all act like e.e. cummings and never capitalize any words ever again! look at me using these fancy brackets rather than using parentheses- muahahaha take THAT MLA}. 

Surprisingly, however, my biggest issue with the internet is something much less tangible: its ability to redefine standards for generations to come {my second is spelling errors/spawn of abbreviations born from the instant messaging days, but that's beside the point here}. The big bad wolf has tricked us all into redefining the phrase "instant gratification." We now seek a deeper relationship with our iPhones & computers than we do with the company of friends or family. In fact, my dad directed me to this article in which the writer fully expected all communications to take place via text/twitter... even conversations with his parents/sister (to the extent that his father called & left multiple voicemails, and the writer refused to call him back. His father eventually heard the new standard of communication via the writer's sister and now the family mostly talks on twitter). I wish I could tell you that I was kidding, but I'm not...

This instaworld that we all live in & conquer is going to our heads, folks. We (I'm included, don't worry) would rather wish a person a "happy birthday" on a facebook wall than send a card. Speaking of cards, we've pretty much abandoned the whole postal system for our germ-covered battery-powered phones. Oh, Gutenberg! And the whole reading a book thing? Yeah, that's a dying art, too {sigh}. All for what? Instant gratification.

We, humans, expect everything NOW. We're all turning into little versions of Veruca Salt from Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We can't be bothered with talking in person or on the phone anymore, gotta text! We can't waste time going to a {gasp} bookstore, must purchase kindle versions. Psh, why buy a whole album when we can buy the two songs that we actually like? Our little instant gratifications are running a lot of our little American-run businesses straight into the ground, and we don't even care. Because we wanted it in that exact second, & we got it. And we're building our own little kingdoms and keeping everyone & everything else out.

And for the daily double, this information age of ours doesn't have an off button. It goes 24/7. It runs during family dinners, last minute cramming study sessions, & even during friend hang-out times. We think that because our connectivity to this magical world of internet & communication is never ceasing, that we should use it unceasingly. We no longer walk on the street or drive a car just to walk or to drive. We talk on our phones, we text, we write ourselves memos, emails, blog posts, we read BREAKING NEWS tweets. We are our own little PR reps constantly tethered to a coded world, rather than the natural world, because we can't miss anythingAnd it never stops. We've created a monster & it's turning us into monsters, too. We're slowly constructing walls brick by brick around ourselves that isolate us from the humanity we once knew.

We have come to the assumption that our time is terribly terribly important. And it is, don't get me wrong, but what priority level are we really classifying our time? My time is not so important to forget to say please or thank you, to ask people how they are, or to even hold the door for a stranger. My time is not so important that I can't move on the sidewalk to let someone pass me or smile & talk with the person ringing up my groceries. My time is not so important that I won't help a kid enter the metro station using his fare card or give a lost driver directions around our neighborhood {I'm a southerner, old habits die hard, thank goodness}. 

My time is not so important to forget that I am a child of my dear King & that my time here is supposed to be spent obeying and praising Him, not mindlessly following the world. I don't want to lock myself in a self made tower and forget my purpose. My time is not my time; my time is His time. So I'm going to be more intentional, and not get so caught up in this labyrinth of being redefined. Because I don't want to wake up one day and forget who I am. The real me, not the internet presence me or the greedy need-more-now me or the one-man-is-an-island me. Me, with a lovely tangible life full of friends, family, a husband, and a concern for the greater good.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

John 14:27

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