In 2018, I have set a personal resolution to rediscover humanity. I want to be clear that this is a personal resolution, and I am not imposing this onto anyone else because this somehow makes me a better person.
A number of factors have contributed to this decision. Some of those include:
- Disillusionment. I began feeling disillusionment with the whole system and couldn’t help but feeling like a sense of humanity has been lost somewhere along the way in our technological advancement (which I’m not inherently against). Firstly, I was woken up to the fact that there is an issue.
- Philosophy Cafe. Then I attended a philosophy cafe session on the topic “Is Social Media Ruining Society?” I went in with an open mind towards the topic, not having a definite “yes” or “no” to that question. When people began arguing for social media, I tried to see if I could come up with a compelling argument against it. Over the evening, I began convincing myself of the arguments and didn’t hear too many good counter arguments in favour of it. At the very least, this event pushed me closer to the “yes it is harmful for society” than when I had gone into it.
- Health Scare. I won’t go into the details, but in the latter months of 2017, I had a health scare which put a lot of things into perspective for me about life and wanting my life to count for something. Thankfully, it was just a scare and the doctors/tests came back negative results.
- Terror Scare. I got a call from my wife on Black Friday which involved her screaming, crying, and telling me that there was a terror attack happening near her work and she was trying to hide. As I frantically tried to get to her, I found myself speaking to strangers, and I saw Londoners as fellow humans. Thankfully, there wasn’t a terror attack but the real fear of potentially losing your wife will make you see humanity/life different.
- Black Mirror. A good friend told me about a show on Netflix called “Black Mirror.” Although the show is science fiction, it is close enough to reality to be a real possibility of where technology could lead us in the future (and it’s a little worrying).
- Wasted Time. Ultimately, there is a sense in which I feel that time is being wasted on certain technology. I don’t want to waste my life being consumed by technology to the point that it makes me less of a human being. What has happened to us when we feel the need to snapchat a terror attack or are too busy looking down at our phones to interact with other human beings around us?
What’s Not Going To Change?:
At this point, I don’t feel that it would be right to cut out technology completely. I think, at least, Western humanity is too far gone past that point (unless you are content living in the middle of nowhere with no human interaction at all).
I will still check texts, emails, and even Facebook messages occasionally because some people have no other way to contact me other than that. I am a Canadian living London, UK and I recognise that my family/friends would like a quicker response than a snail mail post-card every now and then.
I will still speak publicly (preaching & teaching), and write on this website as well as Apologetics UK. This is an avenue for me to share ideas and hopefully help/equip/encourage someone in a topic that I am passionate about.
I only have 2 social media accounts (Facebook & Twitter); however, I will spend less time on social media. One thing I cannot stand is the addiction of feeling the need to scroll through newsfeeds and read about pointless things that do not matter. I’m not really interested in memes, animal videos, or what someone had for dinner.
Real humanity will not be discovered on social media. I have already planned to write a couple of posts in the future on the positives & negatives of social media. Stay tuned for those posts here in the near future.
I will likely be spending a lot less time on the phone/computer. I wouldn’t say I spend as much time as other people on these things; however, that’s not a very good way of measuring the problem. Just because someone does it more than me doesn’t mean that I am comfortable with it. I want to be able to leave my phone at home without the fear of what might happen if it’s not on me. I want to have a meal with someone without the phone being on the table & I check it as soon as it lights up or buzzes.
You know that feeling when you frantically feel every possible pocket on your body because you fear that you’ve left your phone somewhere? I want to get rid of that. It’s so sad that there’s a sort of rush that comes with leaving the house without a phone these days, but that’s what I am going to do. Maybe not always, but I won’t always have it on me like I do now.
It would be almost hypocritical to be off social media, but still spending countless hours on my phone or computer. You would just be replacing one addiction with another. The point is to rediscover humanity, not just switch websites.
Talking To People:
When I was growing up in a small city outside of Vancouver, people would make eye contact, nod their head, or say “good morning.” I want to talk to people again. I want to go to the cashier instead of a self-checkout to avoid human interaction. Maybe I will be the weirdo on the London Underground actually talking to someone. I want to say “good morning” to the people who I pass every morning and am too busy being individualistic to say anything.
The best way to rediscover humanity is to actually talk to humans. Feel a sense of humanity again. We’re all different from each other, but we’re at least we all have humanity in common. There might be awkward moments, hardships, rejection, fear, or disagreements. That’s what humans are like though. You just can’t get that sense of reality from a phone, computer, or TV screen. Real humanity is a lot more complicated than that.
– Tyson Bradley