Year The Internet Broke Us

Technology got the better of us this year.

We were not prepared for the speed with which new apps were introduced. Before we could really grasp all this new technology, it had consumed us in addiction. We looked down and we did not look up. If we had looked up, we would seen the pain, destruction and suffering on a global scale. We would have noticed sadness in friends and family members. We would have acknowledged the pain and suffering in our own souls. Small screens became giant walls.

It was easier to look down.

DEVICE…DEVISIVE

As we looked down, cracks appeared in our relationships and we ignored them, preferring to communicate with others via WhatsApp, Messenger and SnapChat, rather than with those closest to us. We are all guilty. And now we face the music of our neglect. We have lost touch with our spouses and we have lost touch with our children.

A never ending feed of hacks to make us look better, cook better, parent better and work better, coupled with the impossible call to find “our purpose” has zombified and paralysed us.

Facebook and Google have spent billions investing in virtual reality technology. Elon Musk and Richard Branson are spending billions to get us to space. All technologies that are chasing places that are other than here, where we are.

Let me be clear. I am a startup nut. I love innovation. I love new inventions and breakthroughs. But I am tired. Oh, so tired. And I do not want to do it again like this next year.

DEVISIVE OR DECISIVE

Now is the time to choose which path you take in 2017. The one of love, compassion, empathy, presence and honest communication. OR the path of divisiveness and dismissiveness. What responsibility are you going to take for your words and your actions. Are you checking in, or checking out?

I always find it easy to write down my thoughts when I feel overwhelmed and jumbled up. I marked up a piece of paper with the following and have written my honest responses. Maybe this is an exercise you will also find helpful:

The Things That:

  • Made me happy this year
  • Made me feel alive
  • Sparked my interest
  • Gave me energy
  • Made me angry
  • Made me sad
  • I can fix
  • I can’t fix
  • I want to do differently

The lead up to New Year is a reflective time. We all have the power to make choices that will improve our situations. Below are a selection of timeless videos that are uplifting and soul-filling. The purpose of posting these videos is not to encourage you to look down more. I firmly believe that the internet is a wonderful resource. How we absorb technology, for how long and for what purpose deserves our personal reflection.

Wishing you a joyous and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas, Happy Channukah, Happy Kwanzaa. Happy New Year.

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself

It is very easy to make the things that happened to us in the past our prison. To free ourselves and move in a forward direction, we need to accept that is happened, acknowledge how it made us feel, the impact it had on our lives and FORGIVE. I am trying to do that.

Empathy: feeling with people

This year, I was guilty of not responding the best way when receiving confidences from friends. My brain automatically went to “How can I fix this? What do I know, or who do I know, that can fix this problem for my friends? Simply because I am a problem solver. I realise now that I just needed to listen and empathise. Brene Brown’s TED talks are very interesting. Here is a little animated snippet of her work, but you can check out more from her on YouTube.

There is nothing worse than betraying yourself

How do you know you are on the right path? In the right relationship? Are you betraying yourself?

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.
CONVERSATIONS