It is almost too late to say farewell to dear old humanity. Millennials are bewitched by the little box in their palm, thumbing a message to a kid three feet away. Why use face muscles or try to read another person’s puzzling expression when an emoji does it for us. Study those emojis. They rob the richness of a human face longing to connect and slip us a choice instead of 40 yellow idiot dots. We click on one, send a text, we’re linked! Five people text us back. We’re popular! But then why are we so lonely, so isolated, so prone to take drugs? Why do we fall for these gadgets?
Infotech isn’t a new thing, we’ve had IT creep for years. Our human capacities simply got overwhelmed….we couldn’t handle the information age without Google to the rescue. Before that it was Xerox. Copies linked us then buried us. With so much to read, so much to worry about- a bus crash in Bolivia- we know we are ‘losing it.’ Change is unmooring us. The pressure on our humanness gets greater every minute. We are desperate for a little free time. But where? How about meals? Such a waste cooking, serving, chewing, swallowing. Smoothies to the rescue, or take out. Double up with cell phone news, more texting, ads buffeting us. If others are at the table, they are texting too. We try multi-tasking. A friend got a text from someone walking the labyrinth in meditation. I watch a father running, pushing his baby on an outing, a good thing. But he’s on his smart phone and oh, he’s getting in his nightly jog. Forget relating to the baby.
Relating to the baby. Here is the real crux of how we are abandoning our humanity. Our little ones are turning to their cell phones for the comfort and reassurance they are not getting in relationships with the adults at home. Life seems grim, nothing but competing teams, a race from kindergarten through college to perform, to do well, to succeed, to win. Win what? We do not communicate to our youngest generation the value of simply being alive and goofing off now and then, dreaming! Living is perilous: quick, drugs.
Parents are stressed, school is stressed, jobs are stressed, our globe is stressed. But is life any more dangerous than it was in World War II or the Cold War or Korea or Vietnam when a nuclear threat hung over us? We are in a time of relative peace, yet our frenzy accelerates. We most need to reestablish the best left of our vanishing humanity: the ability to relate. Let us reassure our children in wisdom, face to face, that life is a wonderful gift and give them time to enjoy it.