When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix
I never cared how much you knew until I knew how much you cared. -Unknown
I’ve quoted two different, yet complimentary messages above, both of which I feel are vital in a shrinking world in which relationships are becoming increasingly virtual. The growing tendency is toward quantity over quality of relationships, and on quick touches, with focus on numbers of “friends” on various forms of social media; crisp text messages and emails; and Evites and Send Out Cards replacing face-to-face or telephone contact. In terms of power-seeking, a vast amount of attention is being given to participation in multiple networking or leads groups and on leveraging time and income through internet marketing, including highly-popular webinars. In the process, so many folks seek to impress one another with their special brand of expertise.
Although I admit that I participate some in cyberspace, I very consciously limit my involvement with social media, do not (at least yet) have a smart phone, have never texted, etc. Short of wanting to become a “dinosaur,” I sorely miss the pre-technological and information ages, when most people placed a premium on quality of friendships and valued personal connections over superficial contact. I’d much prefer to have a half-dozen or so intimate friends than to boast (even to myself) how many acquaintances or Facebook friends I have.
Many offer the seemingly-plausible counter that it’s quite possible to have both close friends and a large circle of acquaintances. While I agree in principle, what I witness is an insidious, epidemic trend toward the impersonal. An analogy I like to use is that of the frog in the pot. If you place a frog in a pot of boiling water, it will jump right out. However, when you place that frog in a pot of tepid water and gradually turn up the heat, it will cook to death. Caveat emptor with our thirst for increasingly efficient and extensive forms of outreach!
Yes, we can stroke our egos and more readily than ever acquire fame, fortune, and the appearance of power, but at what cost? I strongly suggest that the cost includes compromised self-awareness, genuine and deep connection, and “little” things like Love and Truth (beyond so-called “facts”).
To be clear, I’m not proposing “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.” I’m just inviting each of us to take a periodic personal, rigorous inventory of our level of involvement in the info & techno explosion and to make necessary or desired modifications. Let’s be able to see the soulfulness in each other’s eyes as we meet heart to heart.