by Advance Humanity Fellow Serenity Bolt
Technology. It’s almost as much a part of our lives these days as eating and sleeping. We blame it for our woes and turn to it for answers, almost forgetting that it is not an entity on its own—it is only what we make it. Our lives can be as wrapped up in technology as we want them to be, or free with the click of a few buttons.
My parents live in a log cabin in rural Vermont, and they depend on technology just as much as anyone else. In the dead of winter, they often trek to the local library with their iPads when the electricity goes out at home, just to feel connected to the rest of the world. When the power does go out, which is often in northern Vermont, our days take on a sparkling simplicity. There is no email. No youtube. Nowhere to post photos of the ice storm. No one to impress with pictures of dinner or funny comments-- except the people in the same room. These times end up being like soul-warming little naps, full of conversation (and a shared desperate yearning for the internet, yes).
However, they do serve as a reminder that technology can leave our lives as quickly as it arrived, and that we humans were capable of many, many things without it. But it certainly helps to make our lives more efficient, more streamlined, and gives us access to untold amounts of information!
So let’s use it well, and remember to take breaks.