Dis/connected

Disconnected from face-to-face human communication is the theme of the movie entitled, not surprisingly, Disconnect. The movie is so-so. I had several, “what?! you expect me to believe a reporter being forced to reveal her source would not engage the services of a first amendment lawyer?!?…right.”

Having said that, the importance of face-to-face, or by telephone, human communication is underscored in this movie. The lesson is one I still need to learn. But it is a lesson I’m finding easier to follow as I spend less and less time online.

Sometime about two weeks ago I gave up reading news sites. My only exception is the Guardian’s Books section, which I dearly love. By not reading news sites, I use my iphone less. By using my iphone less, I’m not online as much.

I’ve found the respite from so much bad a relief, frankly. I am extremely sensitive to the Badz, and I can easily send myself over the edge with even the smallest of news tidbits. My hardwiring is to always go to a bad place in my mind and to see the worst in people. For my peace of my mind and the sanctity of my soul, I find it better to not read or listen to the news. I’ve also found a greater need to protect my mind from negative influences as I write more and more.

One unintended consequence of protecting my mind is a greater interest in strangers and also my friends and loved ones. With less crap floating around my mind, I seem more willing to just be with people and more willing to let them be themselves.

Disconnected states don’t obviously create a more engaged person. If I’m less inclined to chat on the phone or write snail mail letters, disconnecting from the interwebz and social media won’t suddenly make me a the best friend ever.

As social beings, though, we and I can harm ourselves by not communicating honestly and with concern to those people in our lives who are important to us. I lose a little of myself when I’m not honest with my family and loves ones. I’m glad even at my age I can learn and relearn the art of connecting with others.