Monday, March 4, 2013

Plug In and See the Beauty

This past weekend was a "National Day of Unplugging." Did you unplug? I hope not. While the intent of the organizers is admirable--to remind people to slow down and focus on what matters--the plan left much to be desired, in my opinion.

Technology is all around us--it is not something apart from us but an extension of us--and if it is separating you from the things and people that matter, that is not the fault of technology but yourself.  We should not need to unplug ourselves to reclaim our humanity; instead, we should strive to celebrate our humanity through our technology.

There was a time when communities had to be formed around places on the Earth where water was available. Every day, people would visit the well, river or lake to collect water for their families, and this act brought us closer--we shared stories, conveyed news and created a strong community. Then along came running water and indoor plumbing and something was lost, but more was gained. Progress marches onward.

As we change technology, technology changes us; this has been the case since we first crafted tools, harnessed fire, adopted language, controlled electricity, transmitted radio waves and connected our homes to the Internet. And with each change, some people shook their fists and claimed we were losing ourselves. They were right, and they were wrong, but they did not stop the march of change around us or to us.

Today's technology is wondrous. We can get a more accurate and timely picture of what is happening in our world, within our families and with our friends than ever before. We can control what we see and do in ways past generations could only dream about (or read about in far-fetched science fiction novels). It is up to us whether we use that incredible power to embrace our humanity or merely live a world of our own choosing. Either way, the challenge isn't to be more human on a single day we deprive ourselves of our technology; it is to be more human every single day in the presence of our miraculous and evolving technology.

Below are some photos posted by strangers of sunrise this morning. This is just an hour or so worth of images, shared from Canada to Mexico and from New York to Chicago. Plug in and see the beauty. It's there if you look for it.

No comments: