Of course, there's the flip side to consider as well.
Right now I'm reading a book by McMaster professor Nick Bontis called Information Bombardment: Rising Above the Digital Onslaught. The book is a great introduction to the wonders of this digitally connected world and Bontis takes the reader on a trip through the history that brought us here and speculation about how the world is going to look in just a few short years. But more than this, he offers the reader some useful tips and advice on how to work smarter and strategies on how to deal with the massive information that is flooding into our lives. He helps the reader not lose sight of the important things and to prioritize, taking full advantage of being digitally connected while not losing sight of the basic human needs that are important for balance.
"The more time each of us spends giving our attention to various outlets of information, the less attention we have for the important relationships in our lives. Often we negotiate tiny moments every day and every week so that we can check our e-mail one more time, download new software or watch the latest YouTube video clip. Every time this happens we choose to divert our attention from our spouses, families and friends." - Nick Bontis, INFORMATION BOMBARDMENT, Page 224
How true. Even writing this blog post, for example, is time I negotiated away from other important things. (For example, I was diverted from working on a book which has a deadline to be at the publisher in a few short weeks).
Bontis goes on to say that "you still can't hug your children from afar, and you still can't smell the fragrance of your spouse from a different city." I love the way that he uses the senses to illustrate the important and concrete things that aren't replaceable despite the great new technological advances that allow us to connect digitally.
"But no matter how effective these technological tools become, they do not replace direct, in-person time spent together . . . your spouse doesn't need just to get an e-mail update about your personal thoughts or to check in with you by phone to hear about the latest events in your day. Your partner needs to see, feel, smell and hear you in person. These social contacts reveal so much more than information. They provide personal memories upon which a life is built." - Nick Bontis, INFORMATION BOMBARDMENT, Page 225
Nick's book has been a useful reminder to me of the important things. Just the other night, after a long day of work, Francine and I sat on the back deck and just unwound, chatting about little things and sharing some moments from our day. The television, the computer, the iPhone I normally always have on me were all in other spaces and forgotten. It was enjoyable and special just to have that special moment together. I can never get enough of those moments.
I really like my social media connections and enjoy interacting with some many wonderful people in the digital realm - but those in-person, those special, precious and fun moments spent in person with family and friends, those are the truly wonderful moments that I cherish.
And so, this week's HNT post is going to look back at some of the fun special moments, some special summer memories. Interestingly, these are all photos posted to my Facebook profile - earlier this week I was organzing some of them into albums and reflecting on the fun moments and special memories of doing fun things with the two people who are most important to me.
Here's hoping YOUR summer is filled with special moments and new memories of those important family and friends in your life. Happy HNT.
|Moose Winooski's - Summer 2010|
|Another fun day at the beach - Port Dover - Summer 2007|
|Me, Alexander & Francine - funhouse mirror on Clifton Hill - Niagara Falls, July 2007|