The Burden of Technological Omnipresence

One hundred-seventy million square miles. That’s a lot of Earth, but we’re fortunate because we live in a time unlike any other. With the invention of the Internet, we’re now more connected worldwide than we ever have been before. In a lot of ways, it’s truly an amazing recourse to have, the reasons of which I’m sure you’re well aware of, so I won’t bother going into them.

More and more, however, I’m beginning to see that people are growing weary of this level of connectivity. I come across books about how “unplugging” to a certain extent can actually improve your happiness, and many a Facebook friend of mine have expressed time and time again that they need a break from it all, because it’s too much to handle, and rightly so. Imagine this scenario: you see a group of your friends in a public place, and as you go to join them, you’re suddenly bombarded by dozens of people, some of whom you know, but who’re mostly complete strangers. They’re in this clustered mob blocking you from your friends, and all of them are exchanging nasty remarks and tearing each other apart verbally concerning social, economic, and political issues, and as you try and push your way through in order to meet up with your friends on the side, the more exhausting it becomes, and the more you begin to wonder if it’s even worth all this effort.

Pondering a Lifetime of Struggle

I’m no stranger to having to suppress certain characteristics of mine. Being an Aspie (though many people may not be familiar with this term, considering Asperger’s syndrome is no longer considered medically relevant), I’m used to refraining from doing certain things that would seem bizarre to the average person. One big thing is something known as “stimming”—usually in the form of flapping the hands or bouncing around, or even both combined when Aspies are in deep thought. For me, it usually takes the form of pacing. I pace a lot when I think. For obvious reasons, I’ve learned to suppress that in order to avoid distracting people around me, especially when in public.