A few weeks ago, I recall being shocked that there were women who were getting 2 hours of sleep a day because they were so busy responding to emails at work. Kai, who was facilitating a workshop for us where this admission came from, and I had a discussion shortly after the workshop about why that is.
First, I do want to declare that this is not just a Microsoft culture issue. Many people I have since observed (yours truly guiltily included) are spending a ton of time on emails, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WhatsApp, wechat, etc. well into the wee hours of the night.
Perhaps the world has become a lonelier place and social media/emails have become the salve of loneliness for humankind, feeding our need for connectedness. And yet, the more we feed the social media/email monster, the more it spews back and the more we feed it, churning up a vicious upward spiral of response quid pro quid, resulting in sleep deprived individuals (yours truly again guiltily included) who do not necessarily wake up in the morning feeling less lonely.
I have spent evenings in great conversation with friends deep into the night, a drink in hand, phones forgotten to the side. Looking people in the eye when you speak with them and hearing hearty laughter with arms thumping the table makes for a richer connection than any amount of “lol” or “lmao” or emojis can ever provide.
So often, I have found it near impossible to get friends to agree on a date to meet up for dinner together and yet, these friends would happily spend hours on social media posting/reading updates and the latest viral jokes safely cloistered (or cocooned) behind the walls of their homes. This is metaphorically starting to look like a scene from the Matrix, just that instead of a cluster of wires plugged into the back of our spine, our hands are the conduit that are plugged into the Matrix, feeding machines our loneliness and need for connection. Or as Morpheus described it, “Alice in Wonderland, falling down the Rabbit Hole”.
So before me, I see Morpheus’s blue and red pills. Tonight, am I going to take the blue pill and wake up in my bed believing whatever I want to believe, or am I going to take the red pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes? I’m tired of feeling connected superficially and I yearn to hear people laugh and for people to hear me laugh (and not read any more lols). It’s a necessary evil to have emails, Twitter, FB and LinkedIn etc. but I am going to take the red pill and start spending more time in the real world connecting with real people hearing real laughter.
Oh, don’t worry, I will still pop in to the Matrix to post my blogs (it’s a necessary evil) but I am not going to really bother if you read it or not, or if you like it on my Twitter or FB page.
Now that you have read my post, what about you? Ready to take the red pill?