Digitally Absent

By Page Wood March 26, 2016

It’s been nearly two years since I’ve publicly written anything. In two years I have moved twice, changed jobs, been to a few countries, and worked in well over a dozen cities. I’ve written a decent bit in the last two years but it never seems to be in digital format, nor have I wanted it to be. You see, in the last two years I’ve increasingly wondered why it is that we as a culture feel the need for everything to connected digitally.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve grown up as what I’d like to call, part of “The Facebook Generation” that seems to share everything under the sun. Or maybe it’s because I once worked for a startup that greatly focused on generating as much social content as possible. Either way, I’ve grown very wary of the digital world that most of our lives are growing more and more intertwined with. Don’t get me wrong, I used to be all about Facebook statuses and the concept of blogging about anything that seemed interesting to me. I still sometimes enjoy the occasional scroll through a social network or a well-written Medium article, but my tastes seem to be evolving. For some reason, I’m becoming much more mindful of how technology is moving from a position of enrichment, to intrusion within our lives.

Just today I was eating a wonderful breakfast in this neat basement bar in Savannah, Georgia. The town of Savannah has a vibe that almost makes you go back in time; there are plenty of things to see and it’s a wonderful place to simply be on a Saturday morning. Halfway through my cup of coffee I happened to look over and notice a mother and a daughter who were also sipping coffee. While sipping coffee, they were also both glued to their iPhones. Their food arrived ten minutes later, zero conversation had transpired between one another, and each of them were busy taking a picture of their food on their iPhones. Far too often today it seems as if a digital connection is not made with an event, that event does not take place.

The more I witness people choosing to spend their time with their devices as opposed to each other, the more I ponder what technology is doing to us as a society and the more I want to avoid it. Of course, you may read this and think how can someone who spends their time building products for the Internet question any of this? Here’s how: I take pride in building and designing things that are as efficient as possible to use. I feel that technology is incredibly useful, but should only be used as necessary and should be used to enrich, and not take over our lives.

So that’s where I’m at with this technology situation. I’m curious to see what happens!

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