Monday, November 21, 2011

Addicted to the Internet?

Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.  ~Montaigne

The irony of this topic is not lost on me, a blogger writing about excessive internet use. On my recent trip to Portero Chico, I gotta admit I was astonished, and, admittedly somewhat appalled by how many gringos absolutely needed to be on the internet every day, sometimes for hours a day. Here the gringos are in a foreign country with all kinds of things to see and do, and they spend hours every day sitting staring at a computer screen. In the most overt instances, people were spending more hours per day sitting in front of a computer screen than they were climbing. One individual spent literally 8 to 10 hours per day on the computer, and, never once went into the local market or explored the surrounding countryside! Ironically, trying to learn Spanish from the computer rather than by actually conversing with the local people.

I have absolutely no idea what is so compelling about sitting in front of a screen in a virtual world when the real world is outside waiting for you to explore and experience it. Have people lost the ability to make real world connections? Is interacting in a virtual world more appealing because you can recreate yourself as you would like to be rather than as you really are? What are we missing by exchanging virtual interactions with real world interactions with real people?

I don't know the answers to these questions as I have no ability to get into the head-space of people who willingly trade life in the real world - with all its warts and dimples - for life in a virtual world. But, I do know that there is something unwholesome, unhealthy and downright creepy about it. 

 A birthday party with real people at EPC, if you have to leave early to get on the internet, you might have a problem

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