Disconnected -> Connected -> Interconnected -> Disrupted -> Balanced

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If you are reading this article in public and doing so using a mobile device please yell “Phil Walter is the most average-ist blogger ever!”  :-)

We have a burning interest in national security.  To satisfy this interest we went from Disconnected to Connected.  We bought tools that enabled us to access the Internet and using those tools we established ourselves on social media and blogging websites and began to learn and banter and write and challenge each other.  It was a glorious time.

As we came to know each other we went from Connected to Interconnected.  In the same manner in which we wondered how our relatives were doing we would wake up and login to Social Media Platform X or check it during lunch or while we were roaming the grocery store aisles and see how our favorite people were doing.  We wondered what today’s topic for discussion was.  Our burning interest in national security had changed our lifestyle.

Eventually, we went from Interconnected to Disrupted as someone who cares about us asked “Can you please put the phone down so we can have a real conversation?”  Or, worse, maybe we lost sleep one night, or even a few, because we stared up at our ceiling seething with anger over the ignorant national security opinions of Person Y on Social Media Platform X or when pondering a serious development in Location Z — a development that does not affect our daily life and please note we had likely never heard of Location Z before we began this journey.

Does any of this sound familiar?

The picture above is my new Nokia 3310 which does talk and text only.  It is replacing my iPhone which I stared at too much both for good and bad.  The phone is sitting on my new day planner that uses, get this, paper.  Also sitting on top of the day planner is a Washington D.C. area map that will likely come in handy since my new phone does not have a mapping capability.

What does all this mean?

Seek balance between what matters and your burning interests.  Accept that being connected is not always a good thing.  In fact, you may be taking time away from the present (who you are with) and giving that time to strangers (on the internet) one virtual interaction at a time.  It is highly unlikely that your national security-related social media activities will significantly change anything.  It is highly likely that time taken away from the present and provided to strangers will be something you regret someday.  It is certain that the time you have in this life cannot be taken back once it is gone.  Seek balance my friends.  Seek balance.