The widespread use of tools which make the human life more conveniently manageable, while having been prevalent for the entirety of human civilization and before, has been rarely as globally revolutionizing as it has been over the past 70 years. Technology has seeped into the lives of nearly every human being in the world, which now have a population of over 7 billion with the use of that very technology. This radical change that has swept over the world has certainly changed the way society functions in irreversible ways, easily demonstrated by the platform on which the paper is being written. The change has been so rapidly expanding that all other aspects of the web of society are left trying to catch up. We are unaware and ignorant of how to respond to this sudden shift and thus are left in its wake, clinging to convenience and instant gratification. As such, the society I exist in is one with the widest occurrence of addiction that has perhaps ever transpired, the addiction to technology, and yet it seems most aren’t aware that this addiction exists. This addiction has destroyed the value of interpersonal connection in a matter of a single generation, and I am not immune to such. However, in an attempt to revitalize my appreciation for connection among fellow humans, I have been trying to break free of the grasp technology holds over me, and what I have witnessed in return is rather unexpected.
One of the strategies I have employed in order to strengthen my detachment is daily meditation, both to weaken the bond between me and technology as well as to enhance my ability to connect with other people, and yet what I have found is that there are very few people who are open to meeting me in this connection. Recognizing that many people nowadays get to know each other through texting and social media, I knew I would have to replace these formulas with one of my own in order to find new relationships. One mechanism I use in order to do this is through walking meditation, smiling at the passers by and perhaps engaging in conversation thereafter. Yet what I see when doing so is not a multitude of friendly faces smiling back at me, but a sea of heads turned downwards, fixated on the very technology I am trying to avoid. On the rare instance where my eyes do in fact meet another’s, more often than not they turn their gaze away, demonstrating the widespread inability to connect with another person when face to face. In the beginning, this was one of the greatest moments of discouragement I have yet faced, however quickly I realized that it is perhaps a blessing in disguise. It seemed evident, at that point, that I would not develop new connections through this method, but what I recognized is that those who are attached to their phones are not people who I wish to be developing these relationships with, nor do they seem capable of doing so even if I wanted them. As a response, I decided to let any who wish to develop a friendship to approach me, something I found to be relatively common due to the flamboyant nature of my clothing and being. What I have found is that those who approach me are those who I do indeed wish to develop friendships with, and those that I have met this way have developed to be some of the greatest friends I have ever had. It seems that, despite technology’s capacity to separate individuals, what I have learned from it’s powerful grip has allowed me to develop some of the deepest connections of my life.