Modern society has rendered some social and cultural courtesies and general interpersonal exchanges obsolete and in their place we elect those of quicker, more modern, but wholly transient and completely anemic modes of relationship and communication. Art, by dictionary standards, is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination; that being said, art does not exist solely on a wall or stage but rather, if we allow it to, flourishes in day to day life. Art has the capacity to transcend the bounds of a canvas permeating into our daily lives by the means in which we communicate with one another.
We have an irrefutable fascination with past eras for reasons seemingly unbeknownst, but have a blinding addiction to all things current and technologically advanced. In this addiction we have stripped society of its inherent quality of being social. Yes, we have insurmountable means of social media and modes of virtual contact imaginable, and we can access information in one quick swipe of the thumb and twitch of the fingers; but we have lost a true sense of sociability and community.
We are fascinated with past eras because we tend to look to the past with rose colored glasses. But there is also an enchanting, artistic intimacy of communication that is forever lost on our generation. We delight in the idea of written letters but fear the practice of it. We are captivated by old rotary phones and their vintage charm but reject phone calls today and instead return a missed call with a quick text instead. We are bewitched by the notion of candle lit dinners, but upon sitting down at a table it is as if the person across from you fades from existence due to the cold, rectangular piece of technology that immediately takes precedence. No longer do couples hold hands across the dinner table softly speaking to one another as the flame flickers, but rather they silently look into the bright light that is the death of face to face communication and organic relationships.
Now, I am not sitting atop my high horse without a smart phone, immune to the compulsion to scroll through my many facets of social media every time there is an awkward silence or a long bus ride ahead of me. Technology is a beautiful thing that I, too, greatly appreciate and fight a relentless addiction to. But there is also a truth holding cliché advising us that there can be too much of a good thing. When you eat too many sweets your belly starts to hurt. When you sit in the sun too long you burn. The same concept applies to all of our devices: you glue yourself to its screen too long and you forget how to communicate with an actual human being.
Rather than incessantly palming your smartphone, compulsively glancing at it to see who may have wanted to text, Facebook, tag, comment, or tweet you, engage fully in the moment that you are in, in the company of the people you are with. Hold the hand of your date rather than your phone. Detach yourself from all of your gadgets and indulge in the life giving warmth of organic relationships rather than cold, inert and faceless conversation sent from one screen to another. Circumvent the slimy grip of cyberspace and instead delve into profound discourse. We aren’t robots, so why act like them?