I really need to go visit the great folks at the UW MCDM program when I get on campus in the fall. If you read Sunday’s post, you will know that I come across tons of fascinating pieces online thanks to MCDM Professor Kathy Gill. This afternoon’s internet post that resonated with me came from her colleague, MCDM Director Hanson Hosein, titled “Death to distraction.”
Hosein’s post focuses on the way that we are constantly plugged in to our technology and the effects that such interaction has on our personal relationships (he is specifically addressing the influence that he and his wife have on their daughter). This conversation is one that I have had many times with my friend Emilie. Emilie is acutely aware of the way that everyone arrounds her engages with and through technology, and we have spoken at length about the degree that people lose themselves in digital space, failing to interact with others without walls of 1s and 0s between them. For her Rhetoric 350T (New Media and Technology) video, she created a digital story that reflected on the way that technology “burglarizes her being.” Our discussions leading up to the piece and throughout filming and editing made me intensely more aware of the way that I interact with others through digital space and how that can affect real relationships.
I have pledged, just as Hosein has, to remove technology from communal spaces in order to work on family relationships. Making that decision was not easy, given the fact that I am 20 and most of my peers have their phones glued to them, but thanks to Emilie, her video, the writing of Hosein, and others, I came to a place where I have realized that my friends and family are what I value most, so doing what it takes to engage mindfully with them and be present is what I want to do. I would definitely encourage you to watch Emilie’s video and read Hosein’s post, then take some time and think about how you engage with others through technology. Are those interactions you want to continue, or do your relationships need some reshaping?
A big thanks to Hanson Hosein for calling up these thoughts again today.