Are we really that Connected?
Recent power outages in my country prompted me to think on how important is it, really, to be so 'connected' in today's world? (Cartoon by Leunig whose excellent drawings are an ideal antidote for today's 'overclocked world.')
I was brought up in rural South Africa. In my area, no electricity until I was 17. No Net, TV, or Cell phone, just a shared farm party line between about 10 farms, with up to half an hour wait to connect to the nearest town. Only lamps, candles and hot water from a fire under a drum or wood stove. The "fridge" was a box out in the shade, meshed with cinder brick, over which water flowed. Ice we got from the occasional hail storm in summer, or frozen pond in winter. No coke and the only fizzy drinks we saw were at rich kids birthday parties. Otherwise CoolAid, or my mother's delicious ginger beer she made in summer. Sometimes only soap, salt or charcoal for toothpaste! No supermarkets, yet we could pick fruit and vegetables directly off the tree and out of the earth. We lived under a tin roof that leaked needing buckets underneath, but we could actually hear the rain. Only dirt roads, needing mud chains on car tires in the wet summers season, and journeys through clouds of dust during the dry winters. We never rushed for antibiotics and Doctors. My grandmothers concoctions and treatments were sufficient, at little cost and with no side effects.
I've never regretted my childhood. I had a freedom and closeness to my environment and others, that today's 'city kids' will never know or appreciate.
We were not "connected" like now, yet in many ways we were MORE connected as human beings, and had the time for each other. Also we had books, books, books. (even if we had to read by candlelight!:).