We’re So Plugged In, “We’re About to Implode”

Our “insidious” digital overconnectedness can pose a major challenge.
  • Transcript


Question: What’s the biggest challenge you face in your work?

Nancy Sherman:  I’m a parent of two amazing kids and—adult kids now, and a spouse, a wife, and an academic and a writer, and it may sound trivial, but being able to do well in all of those things all the time, or most of the time, some of the time, is always before me.  And it’s not just about juggling, but it’s about being there.  When my children were little, my son Jonathan would sort of catch on when I was playing Legos and I really wasn’t there, there with him.  You know, I wasn’t in the game and empathically involved because my head was thinking about some paragraph on the fabric of character I was about to write, or a lecture I had to give in the morning.  So, I think for me, the challenge is—and I feel this with my students too, to always remain empathically connected to the people that I’m with and  not be so busy...  But I think right now, I feel is the challenge and I share this, I’m sure with many others, I think we are about to implode because of being plugged in.  Everyone on the street has got their head in some little device, electronic device.  And my students feel guilty that they’ve been in a lecture for 15 minutes and someone might have been texting them and they haven’t been able to answer in the 15 minutes.  So, this sense of—you might say there’s a flip side of what I was saying, of being over-connected.  But it’s over-connected in an insidious way.  So, I’d say, go off to the mountains and smell and breathe and workout hard and attach to people in the real, physical, concrete, emotional way, and not just through cyberspace.  That would be the—that’s the instruction we have and the challenge to realize as well.