We've all heard the saying, "no man (or woman) is an island." But judging by how social media has turned into this bloated, self-serving juggernaut that it has become, it's clear that modern civilization took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. Today, we are more "island" than ever, hunched over our devices, oblivious to the world around us. Technology that was supposed to 'enable' us has virtually 'disabled' us. Granted, the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to look up from our smartphones and tablets for just a minute, but that's just for a minute. The bulk of the stay-at-home population of the world is back to its digital dance on the stage of social media, and it's raging stronger than ever. Here's an excerpt from a recent Forbes article:
"Then came COVID-19. In the face of crisis, social media usage has surged once more. A study of 25,000 consumers across 30 markets showed engagement increasing 61% over normal usage rates. Messaging across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has increased 50% in countries hardest hit by the virus. Twitter is seeing 23% more daily users than a year ago. When it matters most, people (even #DeleteFacebook diehards) are turning to social media for updates and connection."
Against this back-story of frenzied social media activity in the wake of COVID-19, is there a way to get back to the roots and connect with other people in our lives in creative ways? Perhaps it's time to practice some 'social media distancing' and get to the heart of one-to-one communication.
I'm not talking about phone calls and text messages. This is not even about emails. What we're referring to are "friendship lamps."
Friendship Lamps Offer a Creative Way to Reach Out to Loved Ones
Friendship lamps - often referred to as Wi-Fi touch lights or relationship lamps - are a set of two or more digital lamps that connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi. You then connect them to each other using a Group ID that offers exclusivity and security. If you touch one of the lamps, it sends a signal to the other lamps in the network to light up in a pre-selected color.
The mechanism is simple enough but the impact can be tremendous, as attested to by several users of these unique gadgets.
FriendLamps User Reviews
"Perfect gift for long-distance grandparents. Old people accessible for sure!"
"These are so nice to have right now--a great way to communicate with my family"
"This is a great way to connect our family across continents. With siblings all over the world, it's tough finding ways to feel connected in a special, meaningful way. I got my sister in Australia one while I have one here in the States. Now, I cannot wait to see my lamp light up and know my sister is thinking of me! So brilliantly original! Thank you!"
"My mother loves getting different colors from different grandchildren! A great way to send love regularly-especially if shut inside the house!"
"I use these to connect with my little sisters that live across the country from me. So fun and special."
The reviews say far more than we ever can. Using a pair or set of friendship lamps, you can create a network of close people - friends, relatives, long-distance spouses, etc. - with whom you can stay in constant touch. Literally.