I’m a Xennial. In case you don’t know what that means I am of the generation x that became the generation y? and then off course it was the end of the alphabet and a millennium, so here we are Xennials. We grew up in analogue and fueled the digital age with our endless drive for new technology. The changed the way we communicated were a composite part of creating its culture. When SMS (Short Message Service) became text and well text is so l8r we depend on WhatsApp. We grew up with black and white television, had to teach ourselves how to plug in the internet, there wasn’t even a world-wide-web. We had noticeboards, forums and chat rooms. We started out local and rapidly became global, even if you didn’t live in London. It’s been wild.
Now this information download starts before you’ve even had coffee or tea or taken a piss. My morning journaling is rudely interrupted by Trump updates and app reminders, in order to navigate my best possible self. Planning, scheduling and productivity are the core components of human life as we now understand it. While we absorb inane information that rarely impacts change on our increasingly precarious species.
Does any of this matter? No not really as we will bumble along in our relentless lives regardless. It is making me search longingly as I realise that technology has deeper roots into our connectivity than ever before and the slow act of natural community is both corroded and enhanced by our digital age. I realise how hooked I am, I think I want to connect. Yet I am connecting with myself and others through the glow of a MacBook screen, or the flicker of a phone message in a room alone. If I walk out the door there may not be anyone to connect with. The local shop keeper perhaps? If you are lucky enough to have a shop nearby.
Which begs the question? How do we connect? Is it by WhatsApp message only? Is there something I am missing out on here? I still like to walk places. I still like to pop in, without an invitation. These days it’s becoming an increasingly rare activity; living your day fully connected with the moment as it is, information transmitted over the natural super highway of thought feeling and intuitions. I used to call it real time existence where I would wander off into town on an errand and find myself lost in the world of living. It was so liberating.
I am constantly seeking connection and I now wonder what more I can do? Switch of the phone? Work mornings only? Stop writing emails and start writing letters, to regain control of time. We should not be instantly available or constantly contactable. No, no, no.
So it’s time I think that I personally begin to claim my life from the digital database. Go rogue and pay cash. Like in the old days before every interaction was trackable on the cloud. Every instant message a fingerprint in time. Time to change, time to get out of the connectedness trap.