Open Letter: Interconnectedness

Welcome to my blog! If you’re new here or are confused about what’s happening, I’m starting something new… This is called the “Open Letter” — and it’s a new column here. Basically every week, I’ll write an open letter about a topic. These can be short letters, long letters, whatever works for the topic that week. I’ll be talking about interconnectedness this week. Scroll on down if you’d like to read it!

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Dear internet,

We all have our strengths and our gifts. To find those: we explore, we experiment, and from all that: we discover who we are. The magic of the 21st century—technology—allows us to share them all with the world. It always raises two simple, yet complex questions however. Can this interconnectedness cause problems in our every day lives? And can it ruin your chances of getting into college, or getting a job?

To answer these questions, we need to go back to the beginning.

In the 1980s, Sir Tim Berners-Lee created the World Wide Web. Otherwise known as the Internet. Since then, especially more recently, it has grown into something many of us rely on every single day. In fact… this blog post is just a simple page on a much larger internet. The Internet has changed how we communicate with people on the other side of the planet. My friend group, lovingly called “S.U.X.K. Squad” (Slade, “UrgorlMik” Mikayla, Xavier, and “Korgi” Blaire ), lives all over the planet. Notably, Xavier lives in Australia. We talk every day, with no exception, despite the distance thanks to the Internet.

What is interconnectedness? Interconnectedness is the state of being connected with each other. The internet is one form of this. We all experience it one way or another every single day. Whether we open Snapchat, or Instagram, or Facebook, we’re connected. You’re connected. Now that we have some of the background out of the way, let’s talk address the first question.

Can this “interconnectedness” cause problems in our every day lives? A study was done that focused on how the chemicals in your brain can actually alter with the use of technology over time. This forms what your mom—or friend—has probably referred to as an “unhealthy obsession with your phone” or what have you. Depending on who you ask, there are many ways to look at it.

Let’s look at it from a medical standpoint. This could be a bad thing. Not only would it affect you, but it could harm your ability to get/hold down a job—make or keep friends—or even your ability to focus in general. You should think before you do and take breaks when necessary. As I mentioned before, technology use can change the chemicals in your brain. This could potentially lead to serious health or mental health risks when it comes to the use of prescription drugs or even therapy.

All of this is preventable, but sadly, inevitable. With the evolution of technology in our world it’s hard not to get wrapped up into.  People could pay upwards of $400 a month—assuming they have both a cell data plan AND home internet plan—for access to the best speeds possible, all because of the need to feel connected. Ask yourself: when is it time to “hang up the towel” for a bit? (Rather: When is it time to take a break?)

Sincerely,
Slade