Can you feel it?

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Tonight my friend Jamie (also a writer and armchair philosopher) and I were having dinner, discussing life and solving the problems of the world, as we do so well.

We haven’t actually seen each other in months, but we seem to be having almost parallel experiences with life as we see it. Sometimes he posts something on his blog and it’s like he’s in my head and vice versa. It’s great stuff.

As we got to talking, we both tried to express a certain feeling we’re having. I described it as a restlessness, a general dissatisfaction in the way things are and where we seem to be heading. He described it recently on his blog as a looming social unrest.

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Can you feel it?

I love technology and am the first to come forth and admit I’m ever so slightly addicted to all things internet. OK I’m completely addicted. The internet has so many wonderful benefits, but at the same time, with all of this information overload flying at us constantly, day and night, are we losing our ability for real human connection? When was the last time you were left your phone at home? When was the last time you were bored? More to come on this another time.

I’ve noticed a shift of late. It’s early days yet, but the early adopters are grabbing it by the balls. It’s a yearning for simplicity and authenticity. People are downsizing, simplifying, reducing and turning away from what current society seems to expect from us. This downsizing includes social media. I’ve noticed quite a lot of people turning off their Facebook accounts, some for a few weeks, some forever. Friends that have done it tell me they don’t miss it at all. They do however miss out on some news and information from friends, as well as the occasional invite, which tells me much about how heavily we rely on social media to inform us of everything.

I’ve noticed people talking about digital detoxes, screen free days, time out and offline time. It used to be the other way around, do you remember? We rarely had screen time, now it’s the norm, rather than the exception.

I’ve heard people speaking of unsubscribing, unliking, unfollowing and culling “friends” lists.

I’ve seen people talk about craving nature, the outdoors, the sun, water, real people, places and things.

There are a million posts out there about the fact that everybody is looking down at their devices, and I include myself in this, so I don’t need to point out the obvious, we know this. In fact Jamie said tonight he was driving past a bus stop and what jumped out at him was a teenager reading a book, amongst a ton of other people looking at devices. Isn’t it sad that the book wielding teenager was such an oddity?

However in the midst of this, and in the shifts I’m seeing, I have a feeling. I feel that we are reaching the peak of this constant need for online connection, confirmation and validation. I feel we are tired of the narcissists, the perfect flat lays, the perfectly arranged, staged and edited photos, and the entrepreneurs telling us how to make a gajillion bucks if we just pay them to show us how.

I feel we are reaching the peak, are about to hit the top and start running down the other side. Back to where we came from, remembering things the way they used to be.

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Back to art galleries, national parks, beaches and museums. Back to bush walks, camping and swimming without selfie sticks. I feel we are starting to look up from our shiny blue screens and notice the people in front of us, our loved ones slowly ageing, our children growing and our mother earth changing.

I can feel it, can you?

I will leave you with the Jackson Five who asked us the same question many years ago.

Can you feel it? 

If you look around
The whole world’s coming together now.
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it!
Feel it in the air
The wind is taking it everywhere.
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it!

All the colors of the world should be
Lovin’ each other wholeheartedly.
Yes it’s alright, take my message to your brother and tell him twice.
Spread the word who tried to teach the man who is hatin’ his brother,
When hate won’t do
’cause we’re all the same
Yes the blood inside of me is inside of you.

Now tell me!

Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it!
Can you see what’s going down, you can feel it in your bones

Every breath you take,
Is someone’s death in another place.
Every healthy smile,
Is hunger and strife to another child.
But the stars do shine
And promising salvation is near this time.
Can you feel it now,
So brothers and sisters
Shall we know how.

Now tell me!
Can you feel it, tell me can you feel it, can you feel it!
Talk now can you see what’s going down open up your mind.

All the children of the world should be
Lovin’ each other wholeheartedly
Yes it’s alright
Take my message to your brother and tell him twice.
Take the news to the marchin’ men
Who are killin’ their brothers, when death won’t do.
Yes we’re all the same
Yes the blood inside my veins is inside of you.

Now tell me!
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it!
Can you feel it, can you feel it, can you feel it!

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