August 03, 2009

Staying Dis-connected

Michael Griffin Harrie has earned his spot in the Andy Warhol hall of shame. Rising from obscurity to media hype/ Internet stardom in a very short time. It seems to me that our modern world not only provides us with a multitude of ways to stay in contact with people, it expects us to maintain a constant vigil at our computers and cell phones.
The aforementioned Mr Harrie, who was never really missing, never even realized how much of an uproar he inadvertently created when he exercised the right of any adult human being and decided to unlock his front door and venture out into the world. A facebook group =Help Find Micheal Harrie= was created and garnered thousands of members. That is in fact how I happened to hear of this in the first place.

This was all very touching. All these people sent prayers of a safe return home and well wishing to a person they had never known and never will know. Yet there was something that kept tickling the back of my mind like a street fighter rabbit punching his adversary. I thought to myself:

'The guy was just out in the world and enjoying himself so much that he lost track of time.'

This is the least of our worries.

What if the guy just wanted a little solitude or adventure without having to inform someone or ask for their approval? (yes, I do realize that in this [Micheal's] particular circumstance that there were extenuating factors.)
Why did we believe someone was missing in the first place? And why do we so very quickly assume the worst?
We worry about how far the government or industry can invade our private lives, but with very little coercion we readily offer up so much of ourselves on a variety of sites on the web. If we are so concerned with our privacy why do we allow complete strangers into our "homes".
I think that maybe it's OK to not apologise for not calling, mailing, texting, tweeting, posting, commenting, answering the phone or my front door.
Life might just be a little less stressful if we were all just a bit more dis-connected. Not having to 'check-in' all the time was my first memory becoming independant.
I have a cell phone which I often conveniently forget at home or in my car just because I dislike the fact that someone can reach me at anytime. It feels like a leash, so I do what I can to keep it from pulling to tightly.

Ironic that I now use Skype at home and for work....
We don't need Big Brother. Were doing it to ourselves.


NYD said...

I know my thoughts are quite jumbled about this. I just didn't spend the proper amount of time tighening my ideas. Hope you can contribute.

secret agent woman said...

I've always maintained that no one is required to answer their phone or weven their doorbell. And I avoid handing out my cell phone number except to friends. I figure I have an answering machine for a reason. As for feacebook, I'm an infreqent checker and just went on another hiatus with it, and I don't do twitter or myspace. Just the blog, which I can work on when I want to.

Serena said...

Your ideas were perfectly tight enough to convey what was on your mind. People are too conditioned to "communicate" and "stay in touch" these days. I've never been one to check in with anyone about my every movement. I find it intrusive. And like Secret Agent Woman, I don't answer the door or the phone unless I particularly want to. Nobody who actually knows me has reported me missing yet, because they know I'll check in when I darn well feel like it.:)

Grant said...

Can you setup an online app that will allow me to track Sora Aoi at all times? Or just mail her to me and I'll lock her in my apartment. Either way.

lime said...

you're right on the money in a lot of ways. that said, i want my kids letting me know where they are going and when as well as if plans change.

i never used to be able to ignore a ringing phone. nowadays i find it quite easy.

Megan said...

I never answer the phone.

puerileuwaite said...

I fight this trend by respecting people's privacy whenever possible. I simply pretend they're not there.

Carla said...

Actually, very well said. I got rid of my cell a couple of years ago for all these very reasons. Sometimes technology is quite invasive and I want to be able to dictate how and when it affects my life.

Kurt said...

I long to take a computer vacation - no computer for a month.

Anonymous said...

Knowing you as well as I do, I completely agree with the fact that technology has brought us into a lifestyle that connects us constantly together. When we were kids we had to run home, tell mom where we were and then be home by the hour instructed. We were trusted that we weren't killing or robbing others and that we were in a safe place having fun. Today kids are carrying beepers,cell phones,blackberries and other contraptions to keep in touch with their relatives so they're always in the loop of what they were doing. NO TRUST. What would this world be like it they just turn it all off again and trust one another? And when you mentioned about being leashed...hee hee, now that brought back cute memories...wink wink


NYD said...

SAW~ I am amazed when people get perturbed with me because I didn't answer their emails promptly enough. The internet is making many people egocentric and it's not pleasent.

SJ~ Spoken like a fully actualized person. Hooray for you, Serena.

Grant~ Don't you think that if I could do that I wouldn't be blogging?

Lime~ I agree with you. Young children, especially teenagers, need to stay connected. Adults do not. I am certainly glad my mom knew that.

Megan~ That's a great way to keep the tax man away.

Pug~ That explains dearth of activity on your blog.

Carla~ I love all the new tecnology. I just don't like the way people demand you to use it in the same way they do.

Kurt~ Without your computer how would we know you still exist? Do you have a proxy??

Halvah~ Whom I trust is not dependant on their use of electronics. And I am very puzzeled when I see anyone under the age of 13 with a cell.

moi said...

Most excellent post with a lot of food for thought. I can clearly remember a time when I corresponded with a handful of people via LETTERS. A time before PCs, Internet, email, call waiting & forwarding, cell phones, texting, IMing, etc. It seems like a time both quaint and at the same time very desirable.

Mona said...

I agree. we do not need BB because we are doing it to ourselves.

What more, is that it is the car that is driving us, rather than us driving it!

X. Dell said...

Wow. I see where you're coming from with this. If I didn't hear from someone when they agreed to call, I would get worried. Then again, I'd also have checked my e-mail.

It seems that people must live in some kind of wicked fear that they assume the worst all the time. Perhaps that's why they support the idea of unbridled surveillance. It gives them the sense that things are under control.

Truth be told, Harrie's probably in greater danger in his car than he ever was in Asia.

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