Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Small World of Strangers

Annoying Neighbor-Strangers

It's one of those things you hear and see everyday; "the world is getting smaller," "technology makes the world smaller," or "now everywhere is near." There's hardly a single hour that can go by without seeing someone on a cellphone, ipod, satellite radio, handheld device or any of a hundred digital gadgets that we swear are indespensible. In fact I recall an eTrade commercial of a guy in LA trading stock in Japan with the click of a button without ever leaving his desk...no passport required. Through youTUBE and the internet, you can be everywhere at once in a split second. Even your car can tell you where you are, correct your path, paralell park or call Aunt Sally. All of that is pretty astounding stuff.

Consider this: Everyday the world gets smaller; but isnt it ironic that nobody in a room is talking to each other; but someone anywhere else. Yes, technology is making the world smaller; but its also making us farther apart. You dont see people talking and laughing with each other; instead there's some loudly obnoxious person laughing, shouting and dancing over everyone around them while in the checkout line ignoring the attendant and the completely disregarding the comfort of anyone forced to be in his/her presence while they chat with someone miles from here. Instead you see teens sitting at the dinner table barely eating but their fingers are texting with furious intensity to someone nowhere near the dinner table or involved in sacred family time. God forbid you should interupt their thought process and privacy while rudely ignoring the now. Maybe you notice the people driving or in a movie theater completely irritating you by not being there but insisting on being heard. This list could go on forever and sooner or later I could offend everyone...but today I won't.

If you're reading this, the point of the matter is to note the value of being where and when you are now, the missed opportunity to meet the person next to you, the occassion to help someone who isn't expecting it, to notice the invisible people laying on the sidewalk along your morning commute. Isn't it odd that the things we "need" are taking us away from our "necessities"? How small can a planet get with each part far from itself? Do you know your neighbors anymore? Do you know the name of your mailman/woman? Do you know where your family members are tonite at six? Does anybody remember anybody's name next to them? Do we just not like anyone around us anymore?

Hmmm...technology; it allows me to communicate with you now...luckily there is noone being ignored right next to me, at least this time. Its very easy to stick close to the familiar and ignore the unknown. But the unknown remains the juice of mystery and adventure. Someone close to you is watching and worse, very lonely. Maybe I should go update my ipod so I can ignore more people again.....


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

M, you are magical. I get it!