I have, and use, 3 computers, 2 cell phones and 3 different size i-pads. Last year—not that I really need them—I installed multiple security cameras in the 2 homes my wife and I own.

Needless to say I am very well connected.

I am very well connected indeed, although the connections I have have nothing whatsoever to do with the aforementioned hardware (or, for that matter, the installed software).

We are all so connected that we have lost the ability to actually connect. The world has never been so technologically advanced—and, yes, there are great benefits to that—yet our ability to connect, truly connect, with other human beingshas never been less.

And, unless we do something about it—and I am not talking about the current boom in AI—it’s only going to get worse (and an argument about AI contributing to that can be discussed another time).

Picture 4 friends at lunch (I don’t know why but it’s often lunch) ALL on and using their cell phones. What is the point of having lunch together if you’re going to be on your cell phone (I wouldn’t be surprised if they were texting each other, despite the fact they are sitting next to each other).  It’s maddening!

How about the person (people) crossing the street—traffic buzzing around them—looking at their cell phones with nary a care in the world. It’s not only maddening but dangerous. To everyone.

How about the person walking on the sidewalk, absolutely glued to their phone, just before they “accidentally” ram into you? Connected? That person isn’t even connected to the sidewalk!

Of course there is a time and a place for technology—I don’t have 3 computers, 2 cell phones, and 3 i-pads just to say I have them. They are a necessity due to my work as a professional commodity futures broker.  I have to be ready for action at any time***. I make it a point, however, no “action”, no cell.

It’s not black and white but I make it a point, best case scenario, to connect with my fellow human beings face to face (eye to eye)—when possible—and, of course, using all the aforementioned technology when I cannot. I am not a luddite and I am not a hypocrite.

After forwarding my last “guest blog”, about looking for positivity, to a friend in the United States Coast Guard (Semper Paratus***; Always Ready)—which he enjoyed—and I reminded him to always be in the moment (yesterday is history and tomorrow is the future; there is only NOW), he replied, “it makes me appreciate a time of living without the internet or smart phones, and just enjoying life for what it is”.

Amen.

Smart phones?  Sounds to me like a bit of an oxymoron.

Just prior to my writing this, I was on the phone with a friend whose son has been submitting his resume to numerous corporations. I was vaguely aware of this but my friend informed me that the vast majority of his son’s resume were being read and screened by a computer using various algorithms looking for, screening for (and out), who-knows-what. No one has called him back and I am fairly certain it’s not due to his qualifications and/or abilities. And you call this connected?

Disconnected is more like it.

What happened to the human touch and, sure, fallibility?

Years ago I had a friend who was a highly accomplished Harvard graduate seeking work complaining no one called him back. I used to tell him he could be the next Albert Einstein but due to the ever-increasing lack of civility in our society—aided by the “advancement of technology”—I was not surprised.

Call me old-fashioned, but I also long for the old days. (Of course I also don’t think they make music the way they did back in the 60’s and 70’s; whether rock n roll or jazz. The Who. Led Zepplin. Cream. Miles Davis. John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, etc. Don’t get me started).

Times change and I get that. I am hooked up but there is a time and a place (for everything) and I know the place, at times, for all my technology is in the off position. Try it.  And text me before you do.

 

The author of this blog, Jay Levine, is a very dear friend of mine who lives in the great state of Maine with his lovely wife, Elizabeth Ernst.