Monday, 28 April 2014
See What I Almost Missed
Isn't this the most amazing sky? Aren't the colours wonderful? And can you see the sun column?
And to think I nearly missed it altogether.
Yesterday after a relaxing (i.e. lazy) day spent in the garden ( reading not gardening), I was catching up on my social media obligations indoors.
I had uploaded my photo to my favourite photo-sharing site, Pbase, and has commented on photos by my friends over there, I had planned a long overdue blog post, and while checking my Instagram feed, realised I hadn't taken a photo with my iPhone, even though I'd taken lots of photos with my DSLR. So I walked outside with my phone and saw the most amazing sunset.
I just had time to run back into the house, grab the camera, and change the lens before the colours started to fade. It was the most beautiful sky with rich pinks and golds contrasting with deepening blues and grays.
It was a timely reminder for me that it's all too easy to spend too much time in the virtual world and miss out one what's happening in the real world.
And it's not just sunsets that we miss by obsessing with our computers, iPads, tablets, smartphones.
We miss interacting with family and friends, we miss sending real letters instead of emails, we miss greeting cards with a heartfelt message instead of a hastily composed 'Hope you have a great day' written in response to a prompt on Facebook. We miss family conversation when everyone is too busy with their own personal device to talk to the person sitting beside them. What's the point of meeting friends if you ignore them because you are too busy updating your Facebook status, tweeting or snap chatting?
It's a thorny question I know, as social media is also a wonderful way of keeping in touch with family and friends who live away from home, of sharing photographs and words with friends and strangers, of learning and exploring how others live. I've made some wonderful friends though social media, some I've been lucky enough to meet, while there are others I'd love to meet some day. As the saying goes 'strangers are friends we haven't met' and as far as social media is concerned, that is often true. (Don't worry, I'm fully aware of the pitfalls, especially for young people who may be lured into situations which are downright dangerous).
At the end of the day, it's a question of getting the balance right. These past few weeks, I've decided
that in addition to keeping up with my 'virtual friends', I will also devote time to those friends whom I've actually meet in real life. I'm trying to send emails to those I haven't corresponded with for a while and am making an effort to meet up with those I haven't as often as I'd like.