Just Having “Unli” Doesn’t Mean We Should Be.
I attended a Mobile Monday Manila event a few weeks back and something that caught my attention was this thing called “phonestacking.” If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a sort of game wherein during the meal, everyone’s phones are placed face down and stacked on the dinner table. First person who’s unable to resist the temptation to pick up their phone for whatever reason, foots the bill.
When was the last time this DIDN’T happen while having dinner?
But it really got me thinking, has it really come to this? Is it really necessary that we come up with this kind of game for us to have some decent face-to-face conversation with our friends and family?
This guy, Jake Reilly came to mind. Taking phonestacking to a whole new level, this guy went 90 days completely cut off from not just his phone, but all forms of social media. Email, texts, social networks, the works. The result? He says his productivity increased a hundred times over, he rediscovered what “quality time” really meant, and was even able to save his long-term relationship.
There’s a real difference in the quality of that time. If I sit and play Angry Birds for an hour a day, I don’t look back and say “You know, I had a really great Angry Birds session three weeks ago. That was a really great time,” but if I share a sunset walk on the beach with someone, that’s a memory that I can treasure forever.
This other article about Quitting Facebook on ReadWriteWeb pointed me to Cindy la Ferle’s blogpost entitled “How I Deleted My Facebook and Walked Away from 555 Friends.” She talked about how Facebook had made her relationships one-dimentional and how it had become a tool for self-promotion rather than for genuine sharing.
By quitting Facebook, she redefined her idea of a “real” friend:
Real friends do more than punch the “like” key on your status updates. Real friends call you directly on the phone, send cards, help you move furniture, meet you for breakfast, babysit your cats, or otherwise make three-dimensional efforts to be there for you.
Obviously, I’m not saying that we should all dump our social networks and go back to living like
dinosaurs our grandparents. Personally, I don’t think I’d survive a week without going online (not to mention the fact that I’d probably lose my job LOL).
Looking ahead, I guess I just don’t want things to reach the point wherein having an unli-connection turns us all into internet zombies.
No me gusta.
It’d help if we do the little things first, whether it be phonestacking or otherwise. Sure the internet makes everything more convenient but we’ve probably got to draw the line somewhere. Just because we now have the chance to be unli-online doesn’t necessarily mean we should be. I mean, If I tell you I want to hang out, I don’t mean on Google+.