Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Sorceror's Apprentice

Our interface with technology is troubling. Is the flight from our grounded life into virtual reality good or bad for us? Somedays I squarely come down as 'Bad for us!' If I am feeling curmedgeonly I can be quite vehement. Other more reasonable days, no. It's not bad for us, anymore than a chocolate bar is bad for us. One hundred chocolate bars though.., too much of a sugar rush and we lose contact with our own life.

It's also seductive. That sweet, dark sensation of melting softness across our mouth, riveting our attention, momentarily blurring the thoughts of our frantic day, our resolve to 'eat right,' our necessary connections to real living beings perhaps standing next to us. I usually keep a chocolate bar hidden away, where no one can find it, comforted by the possibility of a private solace when everything has gotten to be too much. It's a necessary reset button.

Virtual reality is the same. It promises us a momentary respite, a way out of unresolveable present demands. We all need a way to step back when real life has gotten too complex. And it's free. It's non-fattening. It's informative. It makes us laugh and feel better. And so we can fool ourselves, not remembering that while one chocolate bar is good, five or more will cause distress in the physical body. I cannot imagine how hundreds of 'friends' feels on FaceBook. I think of savoring one chocolate bar, and will stick to my real life friends and be happy at the respite they provide. More lasting, and no overload.

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