Internet, a blessing or a curse?

It’s been a whole week since moving into our new home, and we have been buzzing around like a pair of busy bees. From small renovations to organizing and unpacking, life’s actually busier than when I had a full time job! But what’s really interesting is not having Internet installed until this Friday, or the social experiment as I call it.

Turns out, we spent more quality time together, who knew eh?

It was definitely odd at first, scrambling to find free Wi-Fi spots and planning our days based on their hours of operation, but as the days went on, we realized that there is far more to live than behind an artificially lit screen.

For one, we rediscovered the library, not just for the free Wi-Fi, but also for real paper books. I have been catching up on Phillipa Gregory’s “The White Queen” trilogy before I watch the TV version, and David, the person who falls asleep reading, actually sat down after dinner and went through an entire book on renovations! We are also using the dining table for actual sit down meals, and it’s a very freeing feeling to not to be bound by the Internet, or should I say being a slave and chained to the Internet. For we so often stay on the Internet for the sake of being on the Internet, as if it’s really a net that catches us all, and without it we are all alone and disconnected from the rest of the world. Don’t get me wrong, the Internet is one of the greatest invention ever made, but when we spend our evenings sitting in front of the TV with a laptop or tablet in hand and not talking to one another, something’s not right.

Thinking back, sometimes an issue that only takes 2 minutes on the phone gets frustratingly complex over 10 emails back and forth, and let’s be honest, looking at how awesome other people’s lives are based on their social updates don’t do you justice or give a positive boost in life, and most of these “friends” are really acquaintances you never talk to. Oh and all those tweets, how much of that is actually relevant and what you were looking for? It’s like information overload, and we loose track of what’s real knowledge and what’s superficial.

So put down your PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and remove your isolation pods (aka ipods). Catch up with your friends to see how they are doing, and take a nice walk around your neighborhood to meet your lovely neighbors. If there’s anything I learned from the East Coast, it’s smiling and saying hi to people goes a long way.

Internet, and especially social media, is only a means to an end, but not the end itself. You can draw people to your products using social media, but it’s still the product itself that needs to stand up to the test. Maybe it’s time to rethink the Internet, marketing, and how to measure time well spent, because at an age where advertisements and marketing campaigns try to tell us what we want at every corner, we need to learn to think for ourselves. What is it that we really NEED in life? And let’s bring back the personal touch, the good old face-to-face getting to know you, to see the heart and soul of people instead of just marketing numbers, and maybe even a heart-warming hug to go with it. Or if you don’t like hugs, a nice and firm handshake is good too.

Let’s live a simpler but better life, and yes, after I post this to my blog, I’m logging off : )

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