Time out from the ‘digital now’

digital age watchI watched another amazing TED talk: Life in the “digital now.” It gave me inklings.

It was poetically delivered and I noticed several of the commenters agreed, even though the delivery of the talk was disparaged by the same comments participants. Also, there were those who disagreed and even questioned the value of Ms. Dawesar’s speech, some discrediting her message as not instructive enough. I didn’t realize TED talks were self improvement ‘to do’ lists; I thought they were meant to be enlightening and inspirational so we might make our own choices/strides. I felt the talk did that.

For me, Abha Dawesar’s presentation struck an almost painful cord because she spoke the capital ‘T’ truth that many of us are resistant to admit. Technology isn’t all good; progress is, in some ways, making us less human.

I have often wondered if it is just that my memory is fading or if I’ve stopped making memories. How long ago did I stop; could I pinpoint the timing? I could; it was when I joined social media channels, starting texting instead of calling, stopped printing photos, started taking photos with my phone instead of taking a camera with me for the purpose of capturing the moment.

In fact, memory loss in the digital now was one of the sparks of thought I developed into the storyline of Flash Back. To give an example of just one of the wavelengths: an email I was sent a month ago would become current again as soon as I go into my archive folder and re-read it. There is no environment surrounding that email, no remembrance of how I really felt at the time. In fact, a re-read sometimes erases the initial read from my mind. I become like the technology by which the message was delivered in the first place—only aware of the ‘moment’ when it is recalled from the depths of an unmemorable, non-rememberable file system.

I say we choose to have real moments in real time, not live in the “digital now,” at least not for every minute of every day for the rest of our technologically-dependent lives. I choose to be human. I choose to unplug more often than not and do some real socializing in the real now. Somehow, I’m sure it will seem rather anti-social by today’s standards to some people. But, that’s okay, I’m an introvert.