I don’t think I would be so attuned to it if I didn’t live in the conversation every single day. But I think there’s something important we need to talk about, and it didn’t just change my life forever. It changed most of your lives, too. In fact, it’s changing the world as we speak.
It’s weird to think of my childhood without it. Even in my memories, I find myself importing today’s realities on ancient and archaic ways of communication. I imagine I texted my friends in college to meet me for dinner or called roadside assistance when my clutch went out. But I didn’t do those things.
I called landlines or waited for people where I thought I might find them. I got into the truck of a helpful stranger who drove me to the nearest car dealership.
The world and how we live in it has radically changed in my lifetime, and we don’t stop very often to reflect on that fact.
People, we used to stand in line and just wait.
We used to smoke cigarettes to escape the room and be alone for a few minutes. We used to look one another in the eye at dinner. We used to write checks and send people letters in the mail. We used to go to music stores and bookstores and the bank (okay, I still go to bookstores). We used to have maps in the glove compartment. We used to talk on the phone and turn off our jobs when we got home at night.
And it changed before most of us had the chance to think through the implications new technology would have on our lives. We didn’t know the etiquette of it or the morality of it before it had consumed us. And even now, it’s changing at a more rapid pace than ever.
Part of me wants to turn it all off and throw it away. Life is too fast. People are too distracted. And the ease and distance of communication have created an irresponsibility in communication unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
We are too comfortable treating one another like objects and pawns. We are too accustomed to mouthing off when we need to shut up. We guilt trip and shame and mock and politicize.
But as much as I’d like to run away from it, I can’t. And I’m not sure I should. it’s our reality now. It’s at the center of our habits. We read on it. We bank on it. We navigate with it. We communicate with it. And more. These modern conveniences are wonderful, but how do we now capitalize on the good and figure out how to reign in our addictions and bad habits? Can we stand up world where we communicate responsibly and use mobile for good? I sure hope so. I’m hopeful, anyway. That’s a big part of why I do what I do. I’m just one of those fools who thinks it’s possible to change the world.
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Beka is the Director of Lifecycle Marketing at a hypergrowth startup serving churches and nonprofits. In her free time, you can find her gardening, crafting, reading, traveling, throwing dinner parties, writing, playing board games, watching films, building LEGO cities, and/or drinking fancy bourbon cocktails.