“If the desire for virtual connectedness becomes obsessive, it may in fact function to isolate individuals from real social interaction while also disrupting the patterns of rest, silence and reflection that are necessary for healthy human development.” – Pope Benedict XVI (Message for 43rd World Communications Day)
Profoundly insightful on two fronts:
First, our “virtual connectedness” and obsession with the online world sometimes serves more to isolate us from the real world than to more efficiently connect us to it. It can easliy become a distraction, an escape or an excuse for us. Not to mention that, due to our human limitations, “connecting” to something new (this online world) usually means we have to disconnect from something else (in the real world) in order to do it. Have you maintained proper balance in this regard? There are definitely times that I have not.
Second, maybe you are not directly compromising real world connectedness for the sake of virtual connectedness. Maybe you are only getting online during your free time or to kill time or in down time. But it can still be very unhealthy for us. We need down time. It gives us natural times and patterns of “rest, silence and reflection” necessary to live a healthy life. The constancy of our virtual connectedness has stolen much of this down time. It is always on. It’s always there. Always somebody to talk to. Always something to respond to. Always something more to read up on. Always somebody to catch up with.
If we allow it to always be at our fingertips, we risk our rest, silence and reflection time going extinct. Do you see this more and more in yourself and in many around you? I know I do.