For the past couple of days, I have seen and experienced many things. I have been living with the sisters of Idente Missionaries in New York City. I arrived late Thursday evening, and have spent these past couple of days adventuring around New York. On Friday, I took the subway with two sisters from Ecuador, Annita and Vivianna. We toured St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan, and walked to Times Square and the Empire State Building.
Through observing so many different people – people of different ethnicities, blue and white collar workers, men and women – I realized a commonality in so many people. At the airport and on the plane, so many people zoned out of reality with their music and their phones. Walking around with my two large suitcases, duffel bag, and backpack became extremely difficult because I had to avoid so many people blind to my existence. On the plane, many people ignored the stewardesses and only paid attention to their own phones.
This fascination with electronics has seemed to detach people from the present reality. Hearing and seeing are two functions which aid in human communication. These two functions help people connect to their surroundings by establishing a platform for understanding their environment. By eliminating the attention placed on the sights and sounds of the environment, one may not only lose a sense of their surroundings, but also one may lose interest in participating in their surroundings. Instead of being attentive to the present situation, people are drawn by a desire to know about other realities. Through separating the sense of sight and hearing from reality, people detach themselves partially from society.
In a society, it is important that people both contribute and participate in the environment. To better assess situations, and better enjoy them, one should participate in the sights and sounds, along with the smells, touches, and tastes. These senses not only help people better understand surroundings, but also establish platforms for communicating knowledge to others.
While technology has been extremely beneficial in keeping families together when others travel, such as my case, it can be harmful when used to an extreme. It is good, therefore, to be aware of one’s use of technology so as not to become dependent on this second reality rather than inattentive in the first.
Jessica De Gree
Jessica teaches English as a second language in Spain and plays basketball professionally there. She recently received her Bachelor's degree from Hillsdale College, one of the nation's top Liberal Arts schools in MI. At Hillsdale, she played basketball and studied English and Spanish. Some of her hobbies include reading, writing, painting, surfing, and playing the piano.