I knew it wouldn't take that long. Advertisers are increasingly realizing we are ALL ALONE!! Smartphone technology may connect us quickly, or make work mobile, or even give us access to information never seen before; but the reality is...WE DONT KNOW HOW TO BE TOGETHER
I was watching the olympics the other night when this commercial came on, and I raised my hands in affirmation. So many times last week I was with a group of people who were paying more attention to the people on their phones than the people they were with in the group.
October of 2013, I released a book about this. ALONE: FINDING CONNECTION IN A LONELY WORLD speaks to a generation who doesn't know life without technology. The idea that we develop stories together, pay attention to other people, and be 'in the moment,' is a consuming problem.
I was on the Metro in Washington D.C. last week when I looked down the rail to find every single person typing away on their smartphone.
I was in a small group of teenagers the week before, and if you didn't know any better, you might have thought there was some late breaking news everyone had to know at that moment. They sat in silence around a circle talking with someone else in a far off tech world.
After the Chevy Commercial, I saw this
Can you imagine?
Can you even think of a day when you're about to give a gift to someone and you have to text them to look at you in the eyes?
Well, that day is here!!! And it's only getting worse.
We developed a place to help teenagers navigate this world. Our 500 acres in Southwest Colorado is a magical place of adventure and relational learning. We're teaching kids how to put the phone down for a bit and look each other in the eyes.
You might say, "Well, that's not my kid. They know how to have friendships, just look at the people around them. They're all doing the same thing." To which I would reply "EXACTLY!"
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of connecting through all types of social media, internet tools, and quick text. But if we don't carve out a time where we can learn how to relate to the people we are with, I'm afraid we'll have a world full of technobots.
The ability to imagine, create, and think outside a space where you're constantly connected is something of an art today. And the crazy part of the equation is: We all feel ALONE. There's a deep dark cavern in our soul where we wonder if there will be people who like us in real time. We've given up our need for friendships to see who has liked my Instagram picture, or who has re-tweeted my twitter comment, or who is commenting on my Facebook wall.
What will we become if we can't navigate the fear of rejection with people in front of us so we can learn what it means to collaborate as human?
If you're like me, and you want to continue living an adventurous life in tandem with a technology life, then we've got to continue reaching out to students who NEED THIS.
Each summer at Camp KIVU we place those technology devices in a safe for two weeks. We tell our students, "We love the ability to connect and we don't think technology is evil, but we do want you to learn what it means to be in the moment together."
If you're living in a home where it's harder and harder to communicate with your kids, Check out KIVU today, and plan on fasting from your technology for 2 weeks.
And if that won't work out in your schedule, be sure to check out my book ALONE. It's available at Amazon, Barnes And Nobel, and I'll even send you a signed copy if you want to email me at Andy@campkivu.com.
This is a cultural problem we can FIX!! But we can't sit on the sidelines hoping it will go away. We're only going to get faster in our communication, and I'm afraid we're going to wind up all ALONE.