I walked down Church Street tonight and I was completely invisible. A good friend walked right past me without seeing me. She was texting/Twittering/God-knows-whattering on her iPhone/iPod/insert-other-popular-web-enabled-device-here. Right behind her was another friend who didn't see me either because of the very same thing.
A few years ago — passing by those very same people on the very same street — we would have stopped and talked. Maybe for a minute. Maybe for an hour. We would have gone for a drink or two... or three... at the bar on the corner. We would have made stories to TELL... not "blog." Or maybe we would have just sat on a bench and talked for a while. Or maybe we would have just smiled and nodded as we passed. Something. Some kind of interaction.
When I got home, I found myself talking on my cell phone with a friend in NYC whose laptop suddenly started typing gibberish. She asked me to "google" the answer to her problem. I tried and tried and tried until my cell phone died. I took another cell phone and tried to her back, but I didn't know her number since, for so long, I had only hit a button from my "contacts" list. In another time, I would have looked in my phone book and dialed her up on a rotary phone, connected by a wire to the wall, connected by another wire to the pole, connected by another wire and another and another to her ear.
I couldn't help my friend. She couldn't finish her work. Or find a new roommate. Or contact the world. Because her keyboard was coming up with numbers and symbols instead of letters. I told her that maybe it was a sign telling her to put the computer in the corner and take a break.
I want to take a break. I'm sick of technology. I'm sick of the cold. I'm sick of social networking with no social interaction.
I want letters in my mailbox instead of messages in my inbox. I want flesh and blood instead of "friends" on facebook. I don't care what your "is" is. I don't want your "Tweet." I want discourse and discussion. I want albums and records instead of downloads on iTunes. I want liner notes. I want real breath. Real words. Real. Speaking. Human. Beings. I want LIFE Not iLife.
And I know I'm not alone.