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Internet vs Reality

The Bradford Regional Medical Center in PA has an internet addiction treatment program.

I recently deleted my Facebook account.  Well, “deactivated” it.  In other words, I can still gain access to it if I so choose.  I made this decision in an attempt to begin living a more authentic life.  To me, that means interacting with the world in a genuine, and real way.  I don’t hate the Internet, in fact, recognize it as a great resource for information and connection, but I do strongly feel that social media directly impedes my desire for authenticity.  The biggest drawback to not having a Facebook is the complete cut off from communication with certain people who I’m not connected to otherwise.  I’ve also had to get more creative with how I share interesting things I find online with friends.

The pros outweigh the cons though.  Instead of mindlessly scrolling through my newsfeed, I’ve been spending more time reading blogs and articles, and doing my homework—stimulating my mind instead of numbing it.

This week on HowlRound, DC-based playwright Gwydion Suilbhan wrote on the subject of theatre and technology, specifically the Internet.  He ventures to say that today, we are constantly interacting with and creating mini-narratives through clicks and taps onto our various Internet accessible devices.  Because of this, he thinks that we should evolve our idea of theatre to become more interactive—changing the form as audiences change.

While I applaud the idea of appealing to new audiences, I’m not so sure succumbing to our ever-strengthening dependence on the Internet is the right way.  This would only be re-enforcing a bigger problem.  Instead of programming our theatre to fit an Internet obsessed audience, we should be encouraging each other (and ourselves) to reevaluate the extent of our Internet usage.

Are we using it sparingly for information gathering and sharing, or are we using it as a crutch, instead of developing interpersonal skills in the real world?

As we connect more and more online, the further removed from each other and from the earth we become.  Instead of changing our theatre to fit the increasingly superficial and artificial world, we should be using our art to bring ourselves back to the world.

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