This post was written in response to this week’s Weekly Writing Challenge which asked: Smartphones: Blessing or Curse?

The world in the palm of your hand. You share your ideas, your joys and your sorrows with friends, both near and far. You share yourself with the world. Your fingers dance across the screen, the patterns turning into messages that you send out, to reach out, but also in hope of validation. Likes, follows, comments; your self image depends on this feedback.

You are caught in a net, which connects you to the world with superficial threads. The web makes you hungry for more connection, but the more connections you have, the thinner the threads grow. The fragile connections wear out as you over-use them, bringing you ever closer, but also further away. Intimacy fades as physical proximity is replaced by instant messages. Your gentle touch and radiant smile replaced by poke, and :). You do not lose touch with those removed from you in distance, but with your eyes glued to a smart device, you miss that hesitant look across the room.

Yesterday you were rooted in a physical place, today your thoughts are everywhere. You can reach out to the world, you can cross boundaries. Distance is no barrier to proximity. Slowly you will learn to speak the language of the other, the foreigner, the stranger and find that he is just like you.

You lose and you gain. The world changes irrevocably, and yesterday’s intimacy is gone forever. Instead of a few durable ties, you are linked to the world by ephemeral threads, so many that you lose count. You transcend your world and lose it for a new one.

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