Digital Distress

My email stopped working this morning. I did all the things they suggest to correct the problem, but the digital gremlins had other ideas. I think I will begin the process of reducing my digital footprint, scant as it is, by first taking a hammer to my iPad. I do have such thoughts. I wonder about the black hole created by human preoccupation with technology as it sucks the life out of us.

Being born in an era without such distractions, I still have a foot in the pre-digital world. That era certainly had its share of problems but we did not have to deal with the complexity of engaging the world through an interpreter. The digital interface of internet, social media, email, texting, etc. has such an insatiable appetite for our attention. And when it crashes, it is anybody’s guess why it does so. Digital samsara?

When the entire web collapses, and it will collapse, we might be sitting in a Wifi cafe—stunned and perplexed. Then we will blink our eyes and see all the people sitting next to us who we did not see. We may talk with each other in real time and feel the connection we lost. We might possibly wake up to our humanity and revel in the taste, touch, smell, and feel of our interconnection that is impossible to experience in a Zoom room.

Maybe digital samsara has to get so annoying we have no choice but to feel the pain of our disconnect and choose a different way of relating to the world. We have way more interesting things to do than spending our time trouble-shooting digital gremlins. As we relearn how to hold technology lightly, we may recognize the only good use of human creation is in removing obstacles to loving one another. If my iPad, phone, or laptop can help accomplish this it is worthwhile. Otherwise, the hammer may be the solution.

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