The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.
— Isaac Asimov
The new Facebook feed. Hurricane Irene. The European debt crisis. The Netflix identity crisis. We are in an unprecedented time of change with access to more information than ever before.
Overwhelming? Sometimes. Temporary? Unlikely. So what are we to do?
No matter what may change, we’re still human, and humans need connections to other humans. The same technology that can seem so overwhelming also enables this. Facebook is pushing 900 million users, which is overwhelming. But most of those users use Facebook to tell the stories of their individual, everyday lives. Kids, birthdays, new puppies, trips to the beach. You know, human stuff.
Try to understand the modern power grid. The technology is, again, overwhelming. Then Hurricane Irene hits, the lines go down and the power goes out for 1.4 million National Grid customers. Look what happens next. People work neighbor to neighbor, listen to the radio, and keep a Twitter feed handy on their mobile phones. The most valuable thing we have at moments like this is a connection to other people. Human stuff again. We need to connect.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how I connect and relate to others at work, home and in my community. I need to connect in a way that keeps me grounded while the earth shifts beneath my feet (literally at times). Indeed, the greater the change, the greater my need for simple, human connection.
So how do you stay connected? What keeps you grounded during times of uncertainty and change?