Today we are more connected than ever, right? Just looking at the past 100 years or so of communication advances each step was as monumental as the last…. Mail, telegraph, phone, radio, television, live tv, internet, email, instant messenger, electronic chat, facetime, skype, webconfrenceing, youtube, etc. All now in the palm of our hands with live video broadcasting capabilities too!
The level of connection we have today is unprecedented in all of human history. Not long ago large battles raged for weeks after a war ended… simply because getting the word out took weeks. People would learn of major events, deaths, weddings, entire rise and fall of countries… weeks after they occurred. Today everything is instant… a quick scan of the Twitter feed and you know what is happening worldwide. News and announcements are “old news” in a matter of minutes.
Ironically though despite all this hyper connectivity many of us feel less connected today than our ancestors even a generation ago. On the surface it doesn’t make sense, how have we lost the feeling of connection to something more than ourselves… with constant connection?
I have a theory on this- Most of the time when we are looking at our phones, we really are NOT communicating beyond SELF. It’s a completely internal, one way dialogue, there is no REAL person or being beyond self in the moment, particularly when viewing media. Most often instead of opening us up to something greater than ourselves it drives us further into self. We engage ourselves to media which is often targeted to us through clever algorithms designed to fuel internal dialogue and one way engagement. The algorithm knows us often better than we know ourselves. All of this results in what amounts to a big DISTRACTION. Taking our attention off of what is truly important and awake, towards an internal rabbit hole.
I am old enough to remember very well what life was like before the internet and smart phones. In those days very little time was spent looking at a screen. There was no algorithm tracking your every thought and whim. The algorithm makes the smart phone screen a mirror, keeping you locked in to your internal vices. To really connect you must look beyond the smart phone screen.
For me, observing wildlife provides a great connection to something much larger than myself. A connection to the vast web of life. A real web. Connection requires more than yourself. A feeling of connection demands inclusion into something beyond you and your handheld device.
If like many of us, you are struggling to feel connected try taking a walk outdoors, if you can install a simple bird feeder near a window where you can see it. Interact with nature as much as possible. Turn over logs. Look under rocks. Hunt and gather your own food. Think about your place in nature. Install a bird house and interact with the residents. Observe the circle of life as it turns around you. Watch the trees stir, the stars, the moon, the plains, the mountains, the ocean. Watch ants. Think about their roles, challenges, adaptations, lives. Do this often enough and you will certainly feel a real connection to what and who you really are. The rainbow connection.