In an interview in Book Page, the writer Colton Whitehead ( John Henry Days, Sag Harbor) was asked ” What three things would you want with you on a desert island ?”
His answer ” Internet, TV and everyone I know ‘.
An honest answer though he cheated a little since ” everyone I know ” is not one thing or even a thing. Still his answer points up what have become the most important things in our lives whether we like it or not. Recently, my daughter moved into a new apartment in a new city and was without Internet or TV for a few days. The TV wasn’t a big loss since she doesn’t usally watch it much but being without the Internet made her feel isolated , cut off from everybody. I know that I too feel somewhat deprived when I’m on vacation and can’t check on e-mails from my friends. For young people the sense of deprivation is even stronger since they use it to a much greater extent to keep in touch with their friends.
The second item , television, is a bit redundant since much of what it offers is also available on the Internet . Still there are many shows that would help alleviate the boredom on a desert island. The third choice is interesting because it underlines the basic need for human contact. Technology can never take the place of human interactions though it may help alleviate their lack.
I know that many of you reading this are, like me, not completely satisfied with Whitehead’s choices . For instance, the third thing ” everyone I know” should not be allowed .But what would you choose instead ? I know the religious among you may opt for a Holy Book but come on … would it really satisfy you for more than a little while ? Be honest in your replies.