Online vs. Offline

Online is all about things we see, hear and experience through an interface.


Photo by Joshua Dixon on Unsplash

Online is all about things we see, hear and experience through an interface.

For example, talking to a friend in a chat is an interface to the real-world offline experience of talking to somebody face-to-face.

Watching an origami tutorial on YouTube is an interface to actually being in a course in real-life and seeing the hands of the teacher do the magic right in front of you, in real-time.

The problem with any kind of interface is that it's always an imperfect representation of reality. A map of some sort. An intermediary step between you and what's real.

Having an interface means you never get to experience the subject that interface "wraps" in its entirety.

Even when the interface layer becomes so thin and unnoticeable, like controlling computers just with our eyes and thoughts, it's still a layer of abstraction.

I'm not saying that's bad. It's not. Leveraging the interface of things being online, we can be a couple of magnitudes more productive than the generation before us. And that's wild.

But I fear times when everything becomes available through some sort of an interface. Eating through an interface. Doing sports through an interface. Walking in the park... through an interface.

There's a really thin line that separates interfaces that leverage productivity and the ones that hinder meaningful lives.

We gotta be careful.

This article is part of my writing challenge - Writing Seed. Join it and become more consistent with writing. It's totally free.