We went to San Juan Islands for Thanksgiving along with nine friends flying in from different states. While driving to the rented holiday house, ATT gave us a surprise by having no coverage in that area. No coverage meant no calls, no access to Google maps, Facebook or email. My first thought was “No coverage. Wow! So this would be an actual holiday”. We got out of the car, looked at the sky & awed at the billion stars in the sky. Ours was the last car to arrive. We went inside & the house was cozy, warm & inviting. There was a bookshelf, music system, a piano & a fully equipped kitchen with cook books & a dozen of games. The first seat I took was in front of the piano. It was beautiful. I played Fleur de Lise, a tune that I learned on my iPhone piano app and fell in love with the piano. I decided that this was as an opportunity to learn more tunes & I would play it as long as I was on the islands. A time away from work, computer, TV & all of social media. Basically, no connection outside the island. But soon I came to know that the house was WIFI equipped as well. I quickly hopped on to the network & clicked on the Facebook app out of habit. In the next few days, we all played games, went for hiking, had a camp fire, sang songs, laughed, played the piano & had a good time. All with minimum access to social media and it was fun. We were living outside of the network.
So, today as I was reminiscing our last weekend, I realized the amount of time we spend on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc. Our generation is hooked to social media & sometimes it feels like we thrive on it. I agree it has brought us closer to friends, relatives & those classmates who were forgotten after graduation. But, in spite of these social sites being a way to get in touch, they have become the only way of being in touch. Now-a-days, instead of calling a friend we tweet, chat or write on their wall, instead of gathering to play games we play online, we convey birthday wishes & sometimes even death condolences online. I find people looking at their phone screens while traveling, standing, walking & eating. I am no better either. But, as I realize this infecting web of networking, I try to walk with my phone in pocket or leave it at home, I try to stay away from computer in the evenings by cooking.
I like social sites & cannot deny the happiness I feel when I share photos, comments, status messages etc. with my friends & family. It does help a lot in being away but still quite close. But, aren’t we getting too much attached to this infectious logical world? Aren’t we inclined to choose virtual conversations over live ones with folks in front of us? Aren’t we stopping ourselves from learning new things by being too much involved in networking?
May be we will have social networking rehab centers in future. What do you think?