Connect or Contact:
A Call to Community
Janice Hain

  

I know as I begin to write this piece that I run the risk of sounding like ďthe Uni-bomber,Ē but olí Ted may have had some valid points--yet by no means do I endorse his way of getting them across.  Iím as big a user of todayís modern technological miracles as the next person.  Iíve owned close to every electronic gadget on the market.  I wouldnít be without my email, the Internet has brought long distance friends to the fore, and there isnít a day that goes by that I donít touch a computer.  In fact, the computer has become a very close friend--and thatís precisely the problem:  we may be too close.

In this fantastic modern world of super-connectivity, are we losing something in the process?  Has an email replaced a phone call?  Is voice mail sometimes the only way youíre able to hear the sweet voice of a friend?  Do you spend more time chatting to a stranger in a  text room than conversing face to face with your neighbor? Has getting connected replaced getting contacted?

I donít know about you, but Iím torn in a mind/body struggle of sensing a future filled with virtual friends and the deep longing for those wonderful simpler days when neighbors came over to borrow that cup of sugar.  Now, instead of ďbothering a neighborĒ we can just click and charge a 5-lb bag and have it delivered straight to our door with little or no human interaction. Oh, thatís right--today with downsizing, itís four pounds!  

Signe Dayhoff, in her book Diagonally-Parked in a Parallel Universe, recounts a two-year study conducted by Robert Kraut at Carnegie Mellonís Human-Computer Interaction Institute that indicated much like television viewing, interactive computer usage tends to reduce social involvement.  Study participants reported a decline in interaction with family members and a reduction in their circle of friends as computer online usage increased.  Seems even one hour a week had the potential to lead to depression and loneliness.  Their hypothesis was that relationships maintained over long distances with no face-to-face contact ultimately did not provide the kind of support and reciprocity that typically contribute to a sense of psychological security and happiness.

Could this be exaggerating the problem?  Maybe, and itís not my intention here to be against technology or progress, but this is just my little call to attention.  That we might all remember to veer off the information super-highway a bit, slow down and take the back road, linger on that front porch awhile with a few friends and neighbors while sipping that wonderful beverage sweetened from that borrowed cup of sugar!

The best things in life arenít things.

Art Buchwald

  
   


 
welcome page - contents - gallery - obstacles - quotations
 the people behind the words - our current e-zine
  articles and excerpts - Daily Meditations, Year Two - Year Three
     

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation

   

  
ģ

All contents © Living Life Fullyģ, all rights reserved.

    

HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
prayer
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words

  

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!