I went to dinner one night and as I was walking to the restaurant, I looked in the window at a table of 4 diners. All 4 were looking down at their cell phones.
I know that the world is changing. I’m also a huge proponent of technology. While I don’t buy every gadget and device that comes out and I can’t afford the most tech-savvy website, I try to stay up with what’s going on.
We pay a price for growth. Whether it’s day to day growing pains or saying goodbye to an old part of us that no longer exists, you always gain something and lose something. It’s part of the process – part of the yin and the yang and the balance of nature.
So we grow technologically and we use up the resources of the earth. We are surrounded by losses that our technology has given us. But we gain an ability to communicate in an instant. We gain an ability to develop our higher brain power. We gain comfort and ease and lose the curse of toiling over the earth.
But the emotional cost is rising. Your 10 year old girl stands in front of you to express her frustration over something at school and you’re in the middle of a text. 4 people texting at dinner can’t increase their friendships. We find our overactive brains needing constant stimulation. We can’t slow down. We can’t stop.
I wonder if this has affected the decline in CD sales and live music show attendance. Is it too hard to just stop and LISTEN? Are we able to live in the moment?
I find that music forces me to live in the moment. I’m engulfed in the melodies and the lyrics. I feel the feeling of each song and there is this emotional interchange between me and the audience.
I’m battling writer’s block right now. I’m blogging less. I’m writing way less songs. Ok, you can say that I’ve got a lot on my plate. Sure – I get that. But am I really dealing with an issue of virtual deafness?
I have a Blackberry that gets both my email and Facebook (I’m rarely on MySpace anymore – it just seems to be an almost dead site). I know in an instant when something is going on. Between text, email and Facebook, I have to keep up!
Or do I? What price am I paying to ignore things and listen to what’s going on around me? What price am I paying to ignore the things around me and be more plugged in?
Yes it’s all about balance. And the reality of balancing is that sometimes you go too far one way, and sometimes you over-correct in another way.
How do you balance it all? Dang if I know. But I will tell you that I truly believe that we must listen to what’s around us and live in the moment. Listen to a song – really listen. Hear the nuances of the voice. Hear the lyrics and how they fit with the rise and fall of the melody. Go to a live show and listen to the imperfections and the perfections. Feel the resonance of the tones and the emotions.
I love live music. Always have. I love well recorded live albums. I love being able to feel what the performer felt in that moment. I love hearing their interpretation of a song in that moment in time. And sometimes, that’s the only time they interpreted that song in that way.
Live music is struggling – from the huge stadium shows to the small bars and dancehalls. We’ve got to see the latest movie, or just stay at home and Netflix or spend hours on social networking.
Are we forgetting how to live? How to experience a real interaction between 2 people? Are we so plugged into other people’s lives that we’ve forgotten about ourselves and what makes this life a reality for us? Everything around us is manufactured – food, music, relationships, work . . . .
I encourage you to live. Cook a meal. Bake a cake from scratch. Play catch with your son. Giggle with your little girl about absolutely anything. Listen to a band play live.
And just Live.