Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Alone Together - Roar of Technology

Wanted to share this fascinating podcast from NPR, by a sociologist who studies technology and human interaction. Sherry Turkle of MIT. She's been studying computers and people since the late 70s. As I write this, I realize it's a bit off subject for me, but it was so darn interesting....  She wrote a book called Alone Together, which I haven't read, but will add to my reading list. Here's some background on the program, and a link to the podcast

The opposite of "the roar of the internet:" a peaceful flower arrangement at the Temple of Peace in Haiku. 
Key points for more questions:
1. Competing with "the roar of the internet."
2. Sacred space, how to have places in one's daily life that we fully give attention to.
3. Often parents are less attentive than children (parents who are texting in the parking lot waiting to pick up child after school - children cannot catch the eye of their parent - she says in  her research, this is a terrible moment for the child - ok, yes, it's not like child abuse but it happens over and over...and affects how the child sees the world)
4. Technology goes 24/7 but people don't. How to set boundaries for survival.
5. Email is reactive. No editorial pause. Can react immediately - how this affects interaction.
6. Stress from Facebook or "keeping up with the Facebook Joneses" often for teens.
7. Declaring email bankruptcy!
8. Young children not valuing that an animal/creature is alive, because their robot toy is more "alive and interesting."  Is this animal/creature "alive enough?"
9. What is the value of solitude?
10. Being in nature without having the ipod stuck to the ear. What is this person not experiencing?

Being with the night blooming cereus is an experience
 that I think requires full attention, especially with their erratic blooming cycles. This cereus is blooming near Maliko Gulch.
One thing I have always valued is the quiet moments. Haiku is very, very peaceful, especially in the early mornings before the rest of the world charges into the day. (Ok, disclaimer, there are sometimes noisy roosters!) If I lived in Kihei, I would try to go to the beach in the morning before the rest of the world arrived, or find a more secluded spot.  I've never understood how people can go to a beautiful beach and play their stereo full blast.  I think they are missing out on the healing from listening to the waves and the wind. In The Wind Is My Mother: The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman, Bear Heart talks about being in solitude and nature to practice observation, which he contends is a survival skill and also a skill that is very useful to size up any situation that arises. It's a fascinating book. David Bruce Leonard also teaches skills of "being in the body," peripheral perception, and observation at Earth Medicine Institute, based on Maui. 

I know I am prone to the phenomena that Sherry Turkle talks about. Ironically, doing this November Blog Posting Month, feels like I'm adding to the 24/7 buzz of the internet.  I know people who came to Maui to escape "the roar of technology" or "the roar of the internet" and then end up fully immersed back in technology! LOL. If they read this, they know who they are. The key is finding our balance in being a technology user, not used by technology. 


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