As Thoreau put it, “Tonic of Wilderness”. Nature is beauty, solitude, harmony and imagination – all the things much harder to define. Its quiet, its serenity, it’s just a place for all the right reasons, you can plan to get lost. But…
Tethered to technology?
What astounds me on nature walks to some very beautiful locations, what I see is people on cell phones, texting, emailing, tweeting, and the ultimate diss to nature, fielding calls.
I have no problem with having the phone, but it is the way it is used sometimes. There are people accessing nature through the phone, getting the experience of nature while in nature. I find it really strange people looking at pictures while the real thing is right in front of them. This is a post I should have put on Garden Walk Garden Talk to get a wider readership since it is such an annoying subject. Nature preserves are not like they used to be.
Many people are more amazed by the bird pictures than the bird itself. The Bobolink pictured above for instance is losing places to nest and is listed as threatened. Or we look at trees and not the good that the trees do. Trees have their own set of problems, one of which has been drought. There is getting to be a real disconnect in seeing and understanding what is happening around us.
Over technology we complain about and wish away the snow, but also don’t think about how important it is to the season which is to follow.
To see how connected we are in the US, check out the National Broadband Map. Make sure and click all the Types of Technology boxes to see the US painted almost entirely blue (meaning connected). Being connected is not the problem though.
I would not trade living in this time of technology, but it really is nice to forget about it sometimes. We live in a time where we can record nature and send it instantly to friends. I can be on a hike and still have the connectedness of calling someone if a serious situation should arise. I can get lost and then be found through the GPS. I can plug-in directions no matter how remote, and my Jeep takes me there.
City streets have people staring at their hands every where you look. We don’t really need to do that when getting out into nature too.
Some of us want the peace and quiet. As a birdwatcher, it is necessary. One good thing about where I go most often, I am the only one around besides the birds.
I was at a local park this past Spring and it is what prompted this post. I can’t tell you how many times people on phones were walking the trails. At least when going in winter, the people are nowhere to be seen. I juxtaposed images of Bond Lake Park from spring with those from January this year. The place looks so different that you can almost get lost for real.
The National Parks Service has compiled a list of The Loneliest National Parks. The list is generated from the least number of visitors per year.
Plug into what is around you.