I was reading an article today about change, which had a little parable in it about a stream trying to cross the desert, then started to talk about how we’re now in the information age.
This was a few months old, and since then I’ve heard of at least seven other “ages” that we’re now apparently entering. Most of them talk about how information is the key to modern life.
I think modern life is more characterised by Information Overload, as Rich Schefren argues in his latest free download, “The Attention Age” doctrine, but I personally think it goes further than that. Life has become not only full of information, but full, period, if not overfull. In terms of the metaphor in the article, I started thinking that we don’t get the chance to be still waters anymore. Life is lived on the surface and flows so fast that most of us are caught up in constant turbulence and never get beyond a shallow sampling of what’s on offer. The deep and meaningful satisfactions are moving – fast – beyond our reach. At least while we opt in to the norm.
I heard a while ago of a multi-millionaire who adamantly refused to have a mobile phone. He was of the mind that he was powerful enough to decide when he could be contacted and when his time was his own. That kind of time-ownership is something most of us never even think to aspire to (it’s now an ambition of mine to be successful enough not to have one either). Address books have at least seven entries for each of your contacts, and my old books with name, address, phone and maybe fax just don’t cut it anymore. I heard it said once that one of the new murphy’s laws was that the more numbers a person has, the harder they are to get in contact with, and my experience backs that up, but on the flip side the more ways I have for people to contact me, the more time I have to spend in contact, (although funnily enough the less satisfying those contacts are) and the less I have for those “still water” moments that I love (and usually also get so much benefit from).
So, as of today, my resolution is to make sure I have “time out” slotted into my schedule. I’m blocking out a regular appointment with myself, so I can dip a little deeper into life and experience a bit more of it. If you want to join me, add your comment – maybe we can start a counter-movement and put a bit of sanity back into modern living!