the glow of a monitor

We live in an “instant-gratification” society. With the click of a button, we can have food delivered, a movie rented, tell mom we love her with a quick text. We don’t even have to pick up the phone and make a call.

We can update our status on Facebook, Tweet about the irony of a situation, or post an Instagram from anywhere. We can “tell the world” what we’re doing without any human interaction whatsoever.

The truth is we are posting things that people may see in real time, but they probably won’t care about tomorrow. And if all these things weren’t enough, we are making our lives even more “here today and gone tomorrow” or should I say “here today and gone in 10 seconds or less” through SnapChat.

Technology used to help us preserve memories. I remember growing up my dad always had the video camera on his shoulder capturing things like ice skating competitions and soccer games and even just the sweet moments of our everyday lives.

Does anyone else find it ironic that we are making our memories more fleeting? That we are capturing our memories only to have them disappear? Life is fleeting as it is. Why do we want to make it more so?

my dad documenting Christmas circa 1980-something… check out my uncle’s sweet ‘do in the background.

Moreover, we are bombarded with technology everywhere we turn. All the various forms of social media we have on our computers, our iPads, and our phones are constantly distracting us. If we aren’t careful, I feel like in a way we can waste our lives away with it.

Technology and social media are beneficial tools when used in moderation. But it is easy to become consumed by them without even realizing it. It is definitely something I have become aware of recently. I have to remind myself daily to put down my phone and give my full attention to whatever task is at hand. And more importantly, I have to remind myself to put down my phone and really be there when I am with someone.

The Executive Chairman of Google himself, Eric Schmidt, said in his commencement address to the 2012 graduating class at Berkeley.:

“Life is not lived in the glow of a monitor. Life is about who you love, how you live.”

He is so right. Life is about people, relationships, love.

Steve Jobs said:

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Don’t waste your life looking at other people’s Instagram photos. Don’t waste your life comparing how witty your Tweets are to Steve Martin’s. (Believe me, his are much wittier.) Don’t waste your life sitting around on Facebook for hours looking at the “perfect” parts of people’s lives that they choose to post.

Live your life.

this field of who-knows-what nearly put my sister and I in the hospital from asthma and allergies…. but hey, it made for a great pic!

Eric Schmidt went on to say:

“Take your eyes off the screen, and look into the eyes of the person you love.”

I am challenging myself to do that. And I challenge you to do the same.

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