Connected with the World yet Out of Touch with our Immediate Surroundings

Ben Stein starts his Everybody's Business Column of August 24 (NYT) Connected, Yes, But Hermetically Sealed by quoting Jean-Jacques Rousseau "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains"...

The chains in question are not physical ones but rather of the electronic kind.

We can share our meaningful and meaningless moments with friends and strangers alike.
We keep working after hours by having access to our e-mail and the web on the go 'thanks' to our Blackberries and I Phones.

Can't we just turn our devices off for an hour while having dinner and show some social skills.

Does being opened to the world 24/7 and flooded with a constant stream of news bits make us miss on what's most important, things and people in our immediate surroundings.

There are still places that live on a different beat.

Ben Stein tells us: "I spent much of the summer in my beloved Sandpoint, Idaho, far north in the Panhandle, overlooking Lake Pend Oreille. People there still have some freedom of thought. They walk along the streets without phones. They ride in their boats and water-ski or fish without any talking over the airwaves. They talk to one another. They look up at the sky. Children line up to swing on a rope over Sand Creek and then drop into the creek. Businesspeople walk to their appointments, greeting the people they see, not talking to a small plastic box. In other words, they are connected to the glorious Bonner County sky and water and land, and, most of all, connected to their own ruminations."

Is it a mark of self absorption, narcissism.

Did we end up defining our importance, our status by how many Tweets we send and most importantly get?

Another reminder that being Consumed is not just about financial matters.

Time is precious.

What was your last 'stolen moment'.

Old school thoughts for Monday Work Etiquette #51 in the Consumed to Thrifty realm.

Previously: Beyond 'BS" at Work: Is Straight Talk the Answer?

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