Last one. This is a really tricky one. It’s not black and white. Sharing is powerful but secondary to getting the best out of where I am, what I am doing and who I am with.
1st June 2008, I had the privilege of attending the first final of the Indian Premier League in Mumbai. The match was won by the Rajasthan Royals with a single off the last ball of the match. It was an amazing experience made all the more special by my being the guest of the owners of the winning side. That meant I got to mingle with some heroes for the whole weekend, including the legendary Shane Warne.
The people around me at the match had been involved in setting up and managing the team. Their journey had been long and dramatic. Despite the presence of people like Shane, their ultimate victory was considered extremely unlikely when the tournament started.
I noticed something I thought odd taking place as that last ball was bowled. Many around me had video cameras and phones out to record the dramatic final moments.
When we got back to the hotel it was on the TV and already on YouTube. I just checked, it is all still there.
It struck me as insane to watch that frantic final ball on a small screen when it was happening right there, right then and right in front of tens of tumultuous thousands of us. I suggested to a few close to me that we turn off the gadgets, look up and live this moment. I think that was when the title of this series started to form in my mind.
I kicked off in Part 1 with a reference to Sherry Turkle’s TED Talk, “Connected But Alone”. It makes countless brilliant points and is at great pains to be balanced. One of the many interesting points she makes relates to the behaviour of sharing for the sake of sharing, a mentality she describes as, “I share therefore I am”, through which we view solitude as a problem to be solved by making connections. As a result we are at risk of losing the ability to be comfortably alone and to reflect, the drug of connection is just too easily available and highly addictive. There are times when this habit extends to a failure to connect, not just with ourselves, but with the people we are with and the experiences we are having. It was early days, but the need to record the final moments of that cricket match, albeit to share later in those less connected days, at the expense of simply experiencing it, was an early symptom of this.
I really would love to know what you think about this. I have been wrestling with these topics for a while, trying to strike a balance. I doubt very much that I have got it all right.