From a friend and astute psychologist, Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, in his recent newsletter:
We now suffer from a collective social disease that I call the Joan of Arc Syndrome--people walking in the street like zombies, hearing voices. These people are not really there, they are ELSEWHERE.
This is the elsewhere generation.
They are always on their cell phone and when they have dinner with their spouse, each one is looking not at the other one, but looking at his or her blackberry. Love is not looking in the same direction anymore or into somebody’s else’s eyes but looking into somebody else’s blackberry. They don’t even speak to each other, they simply text each other. Elsewhere people used to be put into mental hospitals, now they're CEO’s--and we wonder where all this toxicity is coming from!
Society needs to detoxify not just our bodies but most importantly, our minds. We need to return to local products, to meeting real people and to producing real products, like cars that people want to buy. We need a Reality Renaissance, or a Reality Revolution. We need to get Real again, to touch people; really touch them with our hands. We should play sports together and create real team spirit instead of using video conferencing and the internet. I am not against e-technology; I just believe that we let technology take over our minds and bodies. The robots have taken over and now have all the power. They are buying and selling stocks without us having any control. We lost our control over the real world and it is time to take it back.
Technology should be used to enable and enhance real communication and should not be a substitute for it.
This is the new plague, the new social disease that we are now facing. It is an epidemic of incredible consequence. We have created a generation of Joan of Arc’s, of zombies who can play with billions that they never earned and who don’t have to pay for their mistakes. There is no responsibility in a non-real world.
The cure is the return to reality.
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I've recently made a focused effort on being in the NOW. When I go to a meeting, I don't take my phone or my laptop, I take a pen and a piece of paper. I focus on the conversation at hand, not to be fragmented by an incoming text, email or IM. It's your meeting and you deserve my full attention; this is how I give it to you.
Guess what? I like it. Try it.