Growing Pains

It's possible that we may be currently experiencing growing pains, where our appetite for technological advancements outpaces our natural abilities to cope with the consequences. Perhaps we as humans will adapt so that being “connected” is no longer problematic; our connectivity no longer impairing our ability to be present, but rather evolving into a new type of “presence."

Growing Pains

Tonight my wife Camille and I decided to go on a walk around Williamsburg without our phones. It was a liberating experience.

We were not checking Google Maps to navigate, browsing our Twitter timelines, peeking at our lock screen to see the time, or feeling ghost vibrations in our pockets, imagining that someone had texted us…

We were free to explore. To be present with each other and the city we inhabit. We were aware of the world around us. We talked about life.

And most importantly we were not burdened by our responsibilities, or jealous of the attention we gave our phones, rather than each other.

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After a certain point, the weight of being constantly connected becomes a problem we must confront. How can we solve this as humans? What will become of it? 

The personal computer (phone) has now become an extension of our identity, our collective memory, and even our intelligence. Can it adapt to be more naturally intertwined with our behavior and physiological needs, so it won't require our immediate attention at length? 

What if our phones were smart enough to know that being too connected has deleterious effects on our mental and physical health? What if phones could correlate frequency of push notifications with increased stress levels, or extended periods of incessant internet browsing with signs of depression?

It's possible that we may be currently experiencing growing pains, where our appetite for technological advancements outpaces our natural abilities to cope with the consequences. Perhaps we as humans will adapt so that being “connected” is no longer problematic; our connectivity no longer impairing our ability to be present, but rather evolving into a new type of “presence."

Telepresence.