As I get older, I'm coming to discover what many people may already know (perhaps much earlier than me, in their own respective lives): The most important takeaways from this life... the only REAL things we get from it, are the connections we make. Sure, that sounds all cliché and maybe even a bit sweet, but if you know me… you know that I don't always mean it that way.
The connections we make with people, throughout our lives, are varied …to put it mildly. Not only do they come in a vast array of shapes and sizes, but each and every one of them are wildly unique. Even those relationships that have long since been abandoned still leave their mark on us. Maybe it's a long-lost romance that occasionally comes to mind, reminding you of what once was. It could be a loved one, having long since passed on, but still leaving you with a set of memories that never let you forget about the connection. Perhaps it’s an old friend, or a teacher that you haven’t seen in years, yet the connection often remains.
But, what about the other kinds of connections? The dark ones. Those that jolt you awake, in the middle of the night, sweating through the sheets? Sometimes, connections don’t come from a good place, and the echoes they leave can be traumatic or even as disturbing as the person that you originally made them with. We like to think that we don’t actually have connections with the bad people in our lives…or in our past, but we do. The connection was made, in one way or another, when the encounter or relationship happened. It’s the results… the consequences of these types of connections that often make some of my favorite (and most disturbing) fictional stories.
Some connections aren’t even between two living things. Sometimes, it’s a place, or an event, or even an inanimate object that makes such an impact on you. These connections serve up memories that often lead to changes in our own behavior, many years after the object has come and gone. Think of the first time you can remember having ice cream, or a particular bike/toy as a kid. Maybe it was the smell of a particular flower, or a house you lived in. Your first car … or maybe even …a computer game.
The connections between people, events, material objects and the digital world may seem infinitely different. But technology has been adapting and evolving at an unprecedented rate, blurring the lines between human-connections and technology-connections …while most of us don’t even realize it’s happening. And it’s only going to get more advanced and harder to tell the difference.
By the time the general population realize what’s happened, we’ll all be much too plugged into this technology to back out.
Things are about to get weird.