Having embraced the Internet, as what might be considered the new global religion, most of us have reaped its benefits, which primarily lie in the realms of information availability and interpersonal connection. Now, we are left to ask, how has this new tool, which seems to be expanding into a way of life, changed us, and what have we lost in the process?
Is it possible that as Nicholas Carr, the author of the book “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains,” suggests, that we have become so attuned to a constant rapid influx of information, coming at us from all corners of our field of view, that we are no longer capable of concentrating on events that occur one at a time and at a natural pace? Have we become so adept at skimming over vast amounts of information, that we are no longer capable of deep concentration? For that matter, how do we know if we are even giving our shallow attention to the right things? Tips on noise addiction and interview with Nicholas Carr.
Toll charge of the information superhighway
The Internet has done terrific job of distracting us from whatever it was we were wishing for before it came along. But how many of those wishes has it answered? If the answer is, not many, then how are we going to reconnect and refocus on those wishes that come from within us and are not downloaded from some distant file server?
What other capacities might we have handed over, as the toll charge, every time we follow the movements of that constantly darting, long-tailed mouse, not down a rabbit hole, but onto the information superhighway?
What else have we given up in exchange for this unlimited information and connection? Our free time? Our privacy? What about our personal connection to our authentic selves and the things that matter most?
Signal or noise?
I just returned from a five-day road trip. The first thing I did when I powered on my computer was to spend a full hour, weeding through hundreds of e-mails, 95% of which I immediately deleted. Engineers have a term called signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). Usually measured on a logarithmic scale, using decibels (dB), it describes the portion of a received transmission that contains usable information and how much is simply noise. Thinking about S/N raises the question, has the internet improved our signal to noise ratio? There is undoubtedly much more signal now than we ever dreamed of, but has the noise level grown even faster?
Perhaps the answer lies in how we use the internet. Are there places that give us just what we want and little else? And how about a place that might lead us deeper rather than shallower, into the things that really matter, for ourselves and for the people we care about.
Distraction free zone
The new private wish sharing portal at Wishes4Life might be just such a place. It provides a mechanism to share and collaborate on specific personal wishes privately with family and close friends. The team at Doing Good LLC has designed this feature with the same philosophy as the public Wishes4Life (patent pending) process. The site provides a noise-free zone that is focused on the things that matter most, a process to help users discover, express and set their wishes and dreams free, and dedicated streams to help users focus, collaborate and take positive action to realize these dreams. The wish owner is the master of his/her wish and can share or stop sharing the wish on his/her wish stream any time he or she chooses. Private wishes are only visible to you and the family and/or friends you invite.
Public wish sharing can be useful, even inspirational to others as they look at what submitters have identified as objects of their heartfelt desire. But private sharing, can play another role entirely, almost like a kind of electronic sacred space, or perhaps, recalling an earlier time, a secret hiding place, where friends or lovers could leave each other messages that no one else can see.
This might include fledgling wishes, too fragile to be shared with the world yet, or a wish for someone else that you only want to share with them. It could be a wish that you are looking for help on, from a select few, or a wish that involves someone else who you aren’t ready to share it with. It could be your bucket list that you only want to share with those closest to you, or your wishes that you would like carried out when you are no longer able, or when you are no longer here.
Who and what matters most
Whether the Internet is a help or a hindrance to us, really depends on how we use it. Having places like Wishes4Life, that help us keep focused on what is most important to us can not only inspire us, and provide a way to express what is deep within us, but also to help turn us away from the screen when its time to get busy on realizing those dreams. And now with the addition of the new private sharing portal, it provides us a quiet place where we can connect with those who matter most to us about the things we value the most.
Image credit/Il Primo Uomo/FLickr Creative Common]