Mum and sis at a cafe in Melbourne
Two people sitting next to each other, both on their phones. Sound familiar?
This situation is no longer abnormal or considered socially impolite/unacceptable – mostly anyway.
Do we love the person in front of us more – or the person behind the screen?
Our society is facing a new dilemma. Our socialisation is no longer just occurring in our physical space but the technological space too. Seems harmless enough…
In reality, this modern choice has the potential to feed our inner selfishness because it’s easier to “love” the person on our device.
Why? Because we get to pick and choose. On our phones we get to choose who we love, when it suits us. If I want to browse the internet I can, if I want to go online shopping first I can, I’ll reply to you whenever I feel like it. It’s perfect for our increasingly personalised, I-society while I go about my schedule and my priorities. This is the opposite of what happens in our physical reality. Aka. even if I don’t want to see you or talk to you, I can’t avoid the fact that you’re right there. 😝
Nevertheless, the call to “love our neighbour” is just as applicable online. (What would that look like? Speedy replies? Liking people’s posts? I’ll leave this for you to contemplate.) Perhaps we just need to be more aware of the nuances now with both physical and digital neighbours simultaneously around us. Do we neglect one for the sake of the other? Is it possible to love in both contexts at the same time?
I feel like this is a complex issue and my thoughts are incomplete – feel free to comment below to continue the conversation! Would love to hear your thoughts ☺