77. ALBERT EINSTEIN: A human being is part of a whole
I was actually looking for a short Einstein quote to complete my poster trilogy (poster one and two) but came across this beautiful passage submitted in the comments section by reader Matthew (thanks mate). It was too good not to adapt. Einstein wrote this in 1950 in a letter to a mourning father who had just lost his young son, but I thought it could apply to the current smartphone and social media obsession in today’s culture.
I don’t know about you but my attention span has decreased dramatically in the past few years. I’ve started lots of novels but I haven’t finished one in ages. I can barely stay focused when I’m having a conversation and my mind is always going in a thousand different directions. I don’t even play video games anymore because I just get bored after a few levels. I haven’t done any research but this has to be related to the rise of smartphones and social media, where instant connection, approval and gratification awaits. I’m constantly checking my phone, whether it be my email, Facebook or Twitter (I don’t think I could handle anymore, like Pinterest, Instagram or Google+), and it’s my security blanket when I’m alone in public. This can’t be good. And I’m nearly 30, I can’t imagine what this over-stimulation is doing to a 12-year-old.
I’m not saying social media is bad, it has obviously helped this site a lot – I just need to find a nice balance and learn to focus on the real world, not the digital one.
UPDATE: Here’s a great article I found from 2008 that goes into detail on what I’m talking about. Is Google making us stupid?