I read this article several days ago. It was not a surprising read. Many conversations around my house have focused on this very topic and echo much of what the author wrote. But as I read it, I started to think about vulnerability, and how it is suffering as a result of the culture we live in and the seeming inability of individuals to tear themselves away from their phones. It’s scary, really, to read what is happening with the younger generations who have never known what it is like to NOT have a phone with them at all times. It’s scary to think about the way they communicate (or DON’T, really), and the way they build relationships that cannot possibly have much depth. Yes, the younger generations do not know a world without being constantly “plugged in,” but every age and generation can suffer, and probably is suffering, due to the manner in which we as a culture prioritize our devices and what they can do over face-to-face interaction and connection. Seriously, when your attention is directed to your phone (texting, posting, reading, gaming), your attention is most certainly NOT on the people you are with or on what is happening around you. And there most certainly is NOT any vulnerability.
Think about it, vulnerability requires a connection. It’s personal and yes, sometimes scary and sometimes painful, but often so very gratifying and fulfilling. If we’re not connected, I believe there is no chance of vulnerability. If we’re living the way this article suggests, and I believe a good many of us are, then vulnerability is not welcome. At all.
So what’s the big deal? Who needs vulnerability? We all do. We all have hopes and dreams to share. We all have fears and worries to share. We all have joys and sorrows and good news and bad news and a need for advice and a need to vent. If we are so plugged in to our phones, and so disconnected to the human beings around us, how can we ever share all of those goods and bads and, as a result, receive what we want or need (possibly the most important being empathy).
I’ll keep this short (but promise to dig deeper into vulnerability in the very near future!), as it is my hope that if you are reading this post, you will read the article – and it’s lengthy, but so good. I just want to encourage connection, because connection leads to vulnerability, which leads to belonging, and perhaps most importantly, fights shame.