We’ve made money-making industries out of things that used to be simple. Weddings, home decor — you name it and it’s been complicated.
You know that we’re on the crazy train, right? The simple days are merely a memory, it seems. I saw a kid tonight riding his bike down Beach Boulevard — a busy, five lane, 50-mph highway, more or less. The kid was 12 or so; he was riding while texting — and it freaked me out. I pictured him hitting a larger-than-normal crack in the sidewalk and launching head-first into the windshield of a road-raging rush-hourer.
The other night I watched an episode of House Hunters International and a family was moving to Spain. They were excited about the fact that none of the kids there walk around town looking at their tablets, iThis, iThat, etc., and over the moon that their kids would grow up in, more or less, an unplugged environment. They’d connect in a new way — interestingly, in the original way: face to face. Imagine that.
I don’t know about you, but life sometimes strikes me as being so complicated that I want to run away and live off the land…maybe in a cave, a teepee, an igloo — I don’t know. I’d like a wedding ring of string or twigs, a ceremony in a stream or on a cliff, I’d like my dwelling decor to be natural materials — flowers, woven grass, the earth as my floor, feather-filled bags that double as pillows or cushions to sit on. I’d like to never email again, text again, write a letter and maybe have a carrier pigeon (says the girl blogging from her iPhone). You know what I mean, though. I hope.
One of the blessings of technology is the speed with which it allows us to to things, the efficiency. A downside is that it can complicate the smallest task, idea or goal. It can complicate relationships, too.
The challenges a hundred years ago were light years different than what they are today. I like to say that mankind’s challenges then were to harness the power of the future, while these days it feels like harnessing the simplicity of the past would be a noble pursuit.
Tonight I am thankful for the luxuries and technology that our world today affords us, and I’m thankful for having parents and grandparents who can provide perspective and cautionary tales about earlier generations. May we harness intelligently, proceed cautiously, grow without forgetting where we came from and realize the benefit of unplugging every now and again.