11 November, 2013

Our world has changed dramatically in the last decade – we have moved from simple landline telephone calls and letters to an era where almost everything is done online.

It has become a requirement to find our way through the webs of the internet and speak the digital language fluently. Almost everybody owns a smart phone by now and we are never short of using them.

We have become so immersed in the online dimension, most of us do not recognise the use of technology not only has enormous advantages, but also downfalls.

When almost any information you need is instantly available by a quick type and search, there is never any time for our brain to truly switch off.

The digital age has also changed our way of communicating with each other. A lot of our interaction is now online; we are bridging gaps of distance and time, which we would have not been able to fill otherwise. It is enormously reassuring, knowing we can be in contact with friends and family every day, whether they live in Perth or Singapore. In this regard the world has become a lot closer and cosier, but in other ways we have established more distance between ourselves than we have ever before. Nowadays we look to our phone when we get lost in a new place, we never really ask other people for directions anymore.

Even when sitting together in cafes and restaurants, we seem to interact more with our phones than the people around us. It is like we need to constantly check what is going on with our friends on Facebook or Twitter, and in the process we forget and dismiss real human connection. This phenomenon has also spread into the workplace, where employees are checking their emails 24/7. People are finding it increasingly hard to say “NO” to these expectations, instead of drawing healthy boundaries between work and family time.

It is like we are constantly wired into a stream of communication, status updates on Facebook and hourly news from all around the world. It just goes on and on and on…when does it ever stop, so that our mind can have a break?

Most of us don’t realise nor recognise the impact of being constantly connected with the Online-World. It is a subtle influence that keeps our brainwaves constantly on alert. Like a giant stream of buzzing activity, that never allows us to rest or be fully present in the moment.

When was the last time, we actually observed the world around us and stood still for a while? 


--Denise Reichenbach, Counsellor and Educator, Relationships Australia