Tag: browsing


June 26, 2012 | By | 8 Comments

When I check my phone, email, twitter, the news, and all things Google and Wikipedia too frequently, what am I really looking for? I confess I consistently find almost nothing of real relevance or significance. Nothing comes to mind that has moved me, challenged my assumptions, or enriched my life in the last month. In fact, I believe they often do the opposite. Sifting through what is mostly trivial tends to make me more dull, banal, and indisposed to wonder. Why then do I feel a need to check these so frequently, to continuously feel connected?

I have several ideas. Checking my phone and other social technologies hints at my longing for personal connection with others, to be relevant in their lives, and for them to be relevant in mine. Checking the news reveals my desire to be engaged with ideas and events bigger than myself, and to influence the lives of others in significant ways. Exploring Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube quenches my endlessly trite curiosity with content egregiously free of real purpose or substance. And to some degree, they are all a distraction from boredom.

So if what I really desire are meaningful relationships and connections, ideas that deeply challenge and transform who I am, and meaningful ways to influence people, where then should I look?

Probably in the eyes of friends after a late night on the porch, rather than twitter. Probably in the pages of an old and influential book, rather than the latest addition to Wikipedia or YouTube. Probably more in the silence and experience of this beautiful, fragile, mysterious life, rather than the vapid distractions of modern technology. And also, perhaps, in places modern technology would least likely lead me to expect.