These days people talk more and communicate less. Text messages blaze over wireless networks, and somewhere along the way from phone to phone the words make it through without their original emotional content, and without the reassurance of a smile or a sympathetic nod. Texting is used to fire an employee or even to dump a now-insignificant other. It is to this sort of communication what carpet bombing is to war—a chance to engage your opponent without seeing their look of horror or pain.
Yesterday, while driving through town delivering flyers for my book signing, I tuned into an unusual conversation on the radio about how technology is a distraction and competition to developing close relationships. How ironic that I should be spreading the word about returning to our intimate roots as a people only to have some man break in over invisible radio waves to predict the death of meaningful conversation! Folks, it’s time to shut off the T.V., stereo, computer, laptop, phones and any other tech devices and have some heart to heart talk.
Our world has become a total distraction that prevents us from knowing ourselves and our loved ones. I even see people taking a walk in the park with all of nature’s noise drowned out by their predetermined taste in music blaring through ear buds. Let us borrow an image from a popular seasonal classic, Jacob Marley’s ghost warning Ebenezer Scrooge. Except today’s Scrooges are forging chains of wire, signal strength, and chat windows. They have no idea the weight and length of strong chain they bear!
Knowing what is important to us is a step to filling our personal basic needs. GOD has a good plan for us all, if we just tune in and get the message.
In the 1960’s when we established Sandstone Retreat community of like minded people, at my age of 27, my working knowledge of what it took to have a great relationship was limited and learned on a daily basis, as it was with the other members. We recognized the need for one another to fill in what we were missing. Each of us showed our respect for one another and did not step across their sensitive boundaries. If that did happen a group of people would come down hard on them. Fortunately, at that time, we were free of most of the technical products, a blessing for us. Learning how to relate with others is quite difficult and at the same time, most rewarding. Our true power comes from forming strong relationships, so there-in lies the need for us to establish strong connections.
My friend, Sally Binford an Anthropologist/teacher always said “man is not longed for this world.” Let us try to prove her wrong. I must say my world rattles a little when I see headlines like this one, “The End of Humanity?” Artificial Intelligence could be the end of humanity world-renowned theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking warned this week. He believes that Artificial Intelligence would have the ability to learn and adapt at a far faster rate than humans, “who are limited by slow biological evolution.”
The technological revolution grinds on with robots snatching up the jobs we quickly overlook or take for granted. Combined with the movement to increase minimum wage, robots are going to make it harder for many people to find jobs to survive. This is a real threat!
The sexual revolution in the 60’ and 70’s was more of an imagined threat to old attitudes and perceptions in the mass population. I saw the sexual revolution as offering up a smorgasbord of life’s delicacies to those hungry for pleasure, play and spiritual awakening. Yahoo, to what money cannot buy!