A Sort of Jerry Maguire Manifesto

I’ve been thinking.

I haven’t been thinking about this particular subject for terribly long, but it’s one of those things that sort of hits you all at once. A thought occurs to you, and you feel a drive for immediate change.

Today, during a brainstorm at the agency, we watched this video. It’s five minutes long, and it’s brilliantly, beautifully done. Ironically, one could argue that I am a member of the powers that be against whom the speaker wants everyone to rebel. 

Essentially, it’s a video about connection and distraction. We spend almost every moment of every day massively distracted, which, one could argue, is how ‘The Man’ wants it to be. Well, I don’t really care about how The Man wants it to be. I care about how I want it to be. “It” in this case being my life.

Virtually, we are constantly connected. And that’s pretty amazing, when you think of it. But only when you use these tools to enhance your life, not when they take over your life. I’m definitely a victim of this – I love Facebook, I love Twitter, I thrive on social media. I’m a communicator, it’s my job. But it’s also taking over my life.

What could I accomplish – what could we all accomplish – if we connected to the world around us?

I mean, just consider it for a moment. When did it become okay to text one friend in the middle of a meal with another friend or family member? You’re essentially saying “You’re interesting, but not interesting enough for me to solely focus on you.” That’s just absurd. Absurd, and yet it’s normal.  

We take so many more pictures now, which is great, but at what point does taking pictures of an event become more important than the event itself? When does enjoying yourself become less important than making sure that other people see you enjoying yourself? When does a relationship only become official because all 700 of your closest friends know about it? We live in a world that revolves entirely around other people – and not in a good way.

So, here’s the deal. I’m scaling back on my online intake. I’m not texting other people when I’m with my friends. On some levels, technology and social media trends are part of my job, but past that? I need to focus more on living my life instead of broadcasting it. This won’t change my blog (I love to write, and this blog is as much for me as it is for the people who read it) but it needs to change other things. I need to engage more.

I think a lot of us do.  

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