In this very hot summer on Ibiza, my husband and I have welcomed in our vacation home our families (and that implies sisters, in-laws, cousins and nieces) and many friends. And all day long, each day, I have seen how we ALL are literally “glued” to our smart phones, paying often (much) more attention to whatever happens to any of our couple of hundreds –if not thousand- of virtual friends, posting whatever we think is interesting – or at least beautiful-, instead of enjoying a nice conversation, jumping into the swimming pool or looking to the stars.
Do I like it? No, no really… Do I think we can control it? Hardly, despite that this summer I have read at least ten times about the virtues –and even necessity- of “virtual detox”, few are really going for it, and what is anyway the point of not “being online” for a couple of days?... Do I think we can escape? No, again no… So what’s next? Are we really so close to this HOMO VIRTUALIS, who is a categorically different, more developed from the HOMO SAPIENS we were taught at School? Or just becoming slaves of our own self-staging?
Fact is, I feel many times split between my desire of sharing some precious moments – which I am fortunate to have: surrounded by my kids, embracing the sun in a little boat or cutting flowers from my own garden for a bouquet-, and the feeling that doing so, is, best case, snobbism, if not showing off (14 years of a strict catholic education have definitely left their footprint on me). When I look at those beautiful photos in Instagram, where everything, everyone looks simply perfect, I can’t avoid to be attracted to this “other world”, but I am also keenly aware that the danger is also there, as a well-known Spanish journalist put it “We do not live for ourselves anymore, we live for Instagram”.
And then, you have, of course, the “Business component”, the Linked-in, Xing of this world. Can someone afford not to be active in those platforms? Is a nice to have, or simply a must? How much of one’s time should be invested (note I have not said spend) there?