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

Question: What’s the\r\nbiggest challenge you face in your work?

\r\n\r\n

Nancy Sherman:  I’m\r\n a parent of two amazing kids\r\nand—adult kids now, and a spouse, a wife, and an academic and a writer, \r\nand it\r\nmay sound trivial, but being able to do well in all of those things all \r\nthe\r\ntime, or most of the time, some of the time, is always before me.  And it’s not just about juggling, but\r\nit’s about being there.  When my\r\nchildren were little, my son Jonathan would sort of catch on when I was \r\nplaying\r\nLegos and I really wasn’t there, there with him.  You\r\n know, I wasn’t in the game and empathically involved\r\nbecause my head was thinking about some paragraph on the fabric of \r\ncharacter\r\nI was about to write, or a lecture I had to give in the morning.  So, I think for me, the challenge\r\nis—and I feel this with my students too, to always remain empathically\r\nconnected to the people that I’m with and \r\nnot be so busy... \r\nBut I think right now, I feel is the challenge and I share this, \r\nI’m\r\nsure with many others, I think we are about to implode because of being \r\nplugged\r\nin.  Everyone on the street has got\r\ntheir head in some little device, electronic device.  And\r\n my students feel guilty that they’ve been in a lecture\r\nfor 15 minutes and someone might have been texting them and they haven’t\r\n been\r\nable to answer in the 15 minutes. \r\nSo, this sense of—you might say there’s a flip side of what I was\r\nsaying, of being over-connected. \r\nBut it’s over-connected in an insidious way.  So,\r\n I’d say, go off to the mountains and smell and breathe\r\nand workout hard and attach to people in the real, physical, concrete,\r\nemotional way, and not just through cyberspace.  That\r\n would be the—that’s the instruction we have and the\r\nchallenge to realize as well.

Our "insidious" digital overconnectedness can pose a major challenge.

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