Right now people are locked into their communication devices everywhere. On them you can hear the President, the local news, the officials in your area. When they give you the latest update on how long to stay in your house, the economic crisis, and what's happening with the coronavirus in India, they repeat it over and over again. You sit in your apartment on your nice sofa and wonder what is going to happen next. How is this really going to affect me? How long can my kids continue to play with their toys and electronic gadgets?
I have some money and don't know what size paycheck I will get, or if I even have a job. Maybe I'll just buy what I really need. Let's see... toilet paper, food... those I need. Oh, yes, sanitizer. How could I forget that? This virus is more contagious than the flu, and it can kill you. I could have it and kill someone else without knowing it!
I'm going to stay inside my place a lot and keep my distance from people -- at least six feet, as the officials are saying!
I feel trapped. I'm not used to having all this time. What can I fill it with? I can only sit on the sofa for so long. "Quit fighting with your little brother, Johnny! You don't have to put your toys away; just learn to share. Do you hear me?"
Click. The electronic device is back on. This device that connects me to the world is the closest thing to me. It's almost like my best friend, and it never argues back even though it presents tons of useless information for my mind. Even though some things are facts, what's the source? Is it reliable?
Anyway, maybe with all this spare time I can go deeper and find out what's really important in life. This one short life... Does this little device enhance the quality of life I have, or make it weak, frail, and cheap? Why is it the first object I look for by my bedside? Am I hooked on this device, like a socially acceptable drug?
It's definitely accepted. Everyone is glued to it, except for when they realize their youngster needs to go to the potty, or they realize that you actually have something they need, such as food.
I've noticed that people used to go out to eat at their favorite restaurant. Now there are four people at the same table communicating on their devices with people in other places. What happened to people looking at each other face to face, talking in a simple language that they both understand, enjoying a cup of tea together, building long-term friendships, one day at a time, knowing inside that life costs something. It involves little and big sacrifices along the way.
People have been socially distanced for a long time now. Did the devices become vices that have socially distanced us rather than bringing us together? We had the World-Wide Web before we had the coronavirus. Is social media bringing you closer to someone far away? Sure. You text someone, arrange a time to meet. Then you go out to eat, pull out your device, and start playing a game on it. Sometimes it's just a rude companion, but boy, at other times it helps me fight off my rotten emotions that come from sitting all alone on my nice sofa.
Click. The device is on. What is the President going to say? Will it be an update? Whose life am I living anyway? I feel as if I'm caught in a web. It seems as if people all over are caught in a web. Maybe that's why it's called the World-Wide Web. I wonder where the spider is lurking...
Hey, children, listen to this! A Christian TV evangelist realizes that lots of people are at home looking at their TV, PC, iPhone, so he's telling us how we can give our lives to God all by ourselves, in our homes!
Is there anything new or different -- something I haven't heard before? I'm tired of the repeat button... very tired... Oh, here is something different: "If you want out of this sticky World-Wide Web, click this button on your device one more time and call 888-TWELVE-TRIBES and talk with a real live human being. You will hear hope and inspiration in living words, and you just might want to come and visit us. But if not this time, feel free to call again later. We believe in building friendships, and friendships take time."