In an earlier post I spoke about the book Hatchet. One thing, among others, that stuck out to me was the character’s evolution into becoming in-tune with his surroundings. Not to spoil things too much, once he discovers a few things that make his plight potentially a bit easier he begins to have feelings of frustration with these new tools. It’s as if they may force him to turn his back on his newfound survival skills and abilities he’s earned through hardship.
Additionally, the book does a great job of slowly and deliberately disconnecting the character from his past life of ease and convenience. He became a part of his surroundings; plugged into the life around him. Although he was a bit introspective he developed this wonderful, mysterious ability to connect with nature.
The modern state of things
I cannot help but beat a dead horse just for a minute when I say we are severely disconnected in the modern world. I won’t go into detail and state tired quotes like, “all this social media is having the opposite effect making us less social.” Well, I just did… But you get the picture.
I’m not innocent here either. Although some of my students may see me as a Luddite, I’m very much in tune with tech. I recognize the use and utility it can provide to streamline processes, give us assistance, and just make things a bit easier. But as I’ve mentioned, I look to it as utility. I’m not into novelty or shiny new things. I appreciate something that has significant impact without taking away important, age-old lessons in living. In other words I feel we need to go through certain struggles in order to reap important lessons.
At the end of the day it seems like everyone is inwardly living. Always thinking of themselves, noses in their phones, and as if they aren’t aware of their surroundings at all. Everyone is busy on themselves.
What the book says to me
Again, as Hatchet was my first foray back into fiction (it’s been a very long time) I got a lot out of it. One thing in particular that jumped out to me was what I mentioned earlier: the near rejection of the new tools available to the character. The odd feelings he experienced as if he would betray his natural skills he painstakingly developed over the weeks and months.
This got me thinking about my own relationship with tech, media, and the conveniences of modern life in general. I’m a huge believer that life will present challenges to us and it’s up to us to figure these things out. Most of the time we must use good-ole-fashioned know-how, hard work, and analog effort to solve problems.
What I’m sick of? Hacks, shortcuts, and self-proclaimed gurus telling us how to live. Hatchet was the perfect, succinct example of becoming self-sufficient void of the noisy, tech-driven world. We can all learn a thing or two from a more analog perspective.
The world around us
With all that said I’m trying to make a shift more outward. Looking into subjects that I haven’t touched in years, interests foreign to me, and making a conscious effort to live much more deliberately in the real world. Less digital media and more real life interaction.
Now, I’m not someone that is in a desperate rabbit hole of overwhelm, but I, like everyone, have room to improve.
In the past few weeks I’ve made more effort to meet friends for lunch, workout with others, call more, stay off social media entirely, and read real books in fiction and biographies. I want to outwardly expand my interests and spend more time outside of my head.
I truly think once I get good at those things, my personal challenges, struggles, and self-evaluation will start to work themselves out. My mind will start to finally loosen its grip and open up to receive more meaningful lessons, stories, and solutions.
Time will tell.
What about you? Are you disconnecting to make a stronger self-connection?
6 thoughts on “How We Forget the World Around Us”
Great topic, Brad. I myself have been thinking about this exact thing lately. I feel that a lot of my time is going to the danged social media, and the Screen Time measuring thing confirms it. All I need to do is unlock my phone, and it magically sucks me in for fifteen minutes at least. Am looking into limiting myself to get all that time back. Maybe then I can reconnect with the world. Thanks for this!
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Thanks, Stuart! Yeah, I’ve been looking closer at quality solitude. Really and truly disconnecting from all the noise especially at this time in the country.
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Dear Mr Brad Borland and Stuart Danker,
Hello! I agree with both of you, and I really like Brad’s following statements and resolves:
Thank you, Brad, for composing this thoughtful and insightful post. To resonate with the general spirit and tenet of your post, and to answer your questions, I am revealing to you that I don’t use Facebook and some of the major social media because of the many issues that others have pointed out, not least the often rather shallow interactions and superficial moment-to-moment sharing of selfies as well as the ever-present filter bubbles and echo chambers plus a surfeit of misinformation, disinformation, incivility and even anti-intellectualism to the detriment of conducting meaningful discourses on topics of substance.
Moreover, Facebook and some other social media platforms are just not conducive for publishing serious works, technical writings and multimedia posts that are as substantial, creative, multifaceted and sophisticated as those that I have been experimenting and pushing the boundaries on my blog for enduring satisfaction and posterity.
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Well said and thank you for your kind words. I agree, especially the point about serious works. Most social media don’t afford for depth and will value the “junk food” more. Aside from possibly Medium.com (is that considered social media?) most are simply utilized for more eyeballs on ads, nothing more.
Thanks so much for stopping by.
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You are very welcome. I have done more than stopping by, for I have subscribed to both of your blogs.
As for Medium.com, there are indeed many quality articles available on the platform. However, I have found that Medium.com cannot handle the kind of ultra-high standard that I want to achieve in my multimedia and multidisciplinary articles, and therefore I have decided not to publish my articles and monographs there, even though I do have a Medium account.
I would like to inform you that you might need to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my blog, which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.
I am taking this opportunity to commend you for your open-mindedness, introspective and investigative spirit, which can and will take you very far in many spheres of life. It is a pleasure to be acquainted with you here.
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Thanks! I will definitely check out your site. Yes, I have a Medium account too but don’t post anything. I just peruse anything interesting every now and again. Have a great week!