OPINION: Has Technology Caused Us To Forget How To Live In The Moment

Posted Mar 16, 2013

This past week, thousands of people gathered at St. Peter’s square when white smoke climbed from the chimney above the Sistine chapel. The crowd at St. Peter’s Square was waiting for Pope Francis to appear as he replaced Pope Benedict XVI this past week. Benedict XVI became the Pope in 2005 when Pope John Paul II passed away. NBC News took a photo from 2005 and mashed it up with a photo from 2013 to show the difference that 8 years makes.

The first photo in the mash-up is of a crowd gathering to witness Pope John Paul II’s body being carried into the Basilica and the second photo is of a crowd gathered as part of the announcement at St. Peter’s Basilica on March 13, 2013. The mashed up photo went viral as it proves how overdependent people have become on technology rather than simply living in the moment.

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld points out in one of his bits that Elaine is one of those “BlackBerry people” when she put her head down to look at her e-mail. Seinfeld asked her if he should just pick up a magazine or newspaper and start reading it in the middle of a conversation that he was having with her. Wouldn’t that seem like an unnecessary thing to do?

We use our smartphones and tablets to constantly text, iMessage, or Facebook message our friends. Consider the last person that you texted and look back at when the last time you had a meaningful conversation with that person. How long has it been? Chances are that it has been too long. People use texting as a replacement for the initiative to meet or talk to people.

Instead of sitting around the TV or scrolling on your phone, go outside and get some fresh air even if the weather is bad. You should even consider reading a book that has actual pages or avoid the temptation of social media. You don’t need to know every detail about your friends all the time. Even though March 1st was the National Day of Unplugging, it may be worth considering another day to unplug from the world and see if it has changed your life for the better.

[Photo Credit: NBC on Facebook]