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Not the life I would want…

My random thought for the day…

Emily asked me the other day about my life growing up. She has heard me reference that we had no cell phones, no cable/satellite TV, no electronic whizbangs. She assumed that our lives were empty and boring without the technology we have today… On the contrary! Growing up, our lives were energetic, vibrant and filled with friends, happiness and personal growth.

In may day, we may have only had 3 to 4 TV channels to watch (which eventually evolved to about 20 channels). We may not have had cell phones, Internet access or computers. Our toys didn’t all require batteries to shape imagination and creativity for us. People don’t need all of those things.

We had a telephone in the kitchen that we would use to call our friends to make plans to meet outside and ride our bikes, build forts, climb trees, go to the pool, go to the mall… to actually go somewhere and do something… together.

As we got older, we traded in our bikes for cars and were able to go do far more “things” than we were able to do on our bikes. We still had music… We listened to this thing called a radio. We got together in person and enjoyed each others company. We had actual friends… Not virtual friends.

Back in the late 90s, people started chatting over the internet in “chat rooms”. I had created a forum where the members regarded each other as their friends. As the Administrator, I got email all the time from members who had their feelings hurt in one way or another by another member. I quickly realized that for many people, this WAS real life… People considered their boardmates their friends, even though they had no idea what their real name was. There was even romance on the board between people who knew that they would never have an offline relationship.

After a lengthy discussion (Emily likes to have all of the details and is very thorough), she concluded that the life of an 80s kid was in fact, FAR superior to the way things are today.

My buddy and I went riding through Raleigh yesterday. We saw nobody riding bikes. Nobody was outside. When we went into a place to eat, all of the other patrons had their noses in their gadgets and he said to me: “See, that’s exactly why I have no desire to have a smartphone.” Smartphones make stupid people with a skewed view of reality which, is really not surprising when your view of the world exists on a 4 inch piece of glass.

Many Millennials do not have the slightest idea how to be social, communicate or learn without the aid of their phones. They cannot exist normally in real space. They don’t care about owing a car because everywhere they want to go is in their pocket. Many Millennials have never experienced the real world and have no desire to do so.

This is why so many people today feel so entitled to everything they want… because it all makes sense in their virtual worlds. This life sets people up for a fall. That’s why we are treating so many people for ailments like depression. It is depressing when you realize that your virtual life does not give you the fulfillment and satisfaction of living a “real” life.

We are just not designed to exist this way.

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