Wednesday, 13 November 2013

#434 Can We Choose Not to Join the Digital Dead?

     "'I am alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. In my afternoon walk I would fain forget all my morning occupations and my obligations to Society. But it sometimes happens that I cannot easily shake off the village. The thought of some work will run in my head and I am not where my body is - I am out of my senses.... What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?'                       Henry David Thoreau

     'Shake off the village' - what a great way of expressing a vitally important human need. Since Thoreau's time, the village has grown exponentially bigger and become more intrusive and seemingly intimate - giving us the semblance of connection without any of the real benefits of connection. Technology has enabled the village to become exceptionally good at not allowing us to shake it off. With the advent of the smartphone, getting away from it all is no longer as easy as simply getting up and walking away. And, increasingly, people are making the choice not to even try to shake off the village - surrendering to a life of distractions, with the result that, as Thoreau put it, we are living much of our lives out of our senses. Wayne Curtis calls them 'the digital dead, shuffling slowly, their eyes affixed to a small screen in their hands.'"                      Arianna Huffington

The whole article is well worth reading:

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