For the past couple of months I have been living almost entirely through my screen. I don’t mean to say that I don’t disconnect, spend time with Chris, my hobbies, my books, because I do. I mean that for me, the majority of my connections and experiences are rooted almost entirely online.
This isn’t really surprising and I have to say I’m so glad to live in a time with internet access as otherwise I would feel much more alone, helpless and trapped. But I realised the other day, when I was able to go outside to visit a friend (a truly wonderful experience, made much more gratifying now that we rarely see each other) that in becoming so connected to the online universe, I had disconnected from reality.
When I saw people walking by, going about their everyday business, I felt envious. Granted, I have often been hit with the strong feeling that life is unfair and questioning why this happened to me, but this time it was different. I had gotten myself so worked into the world that is the internet, that I had almost forgotten that there are other people in the world, right outside my front door. Even those who I have conversed with and been touched by remain hidden behind another screen.
The web may have the ability to connect us to everyone, but in the process we must always remember that those we connect with have lives outside the screen. They eat and sleep, the same as us. They have families and best friends and mistakes and dreams and desires that we can never see. Part of me wants to see right through the screen and be included in their lives. I want to see and know everything. Now, I know this isn’t possible, but just by remembering that everyone has a life outside the gates of my screen I believe that I can connect in a much more real and valuable way. When it comes down to it, we are all the same – and we want to know that.