“Welcome to an ever-expanding world”, I declared to myself this past week, as I got tickled with technology, new and old, same and different, and how it moves and participates in our lives.
For example, the first group of Sarah and Alex’s wedding pictures came from friends’ cameras and are posted on Facebook. So, when I’m asked about wedding photos, I go to Facebook and am grateful that it’s easy and accessible.
Interestingly enough, and counter to some of the pervasive messages about social media, a number (larger than what I would have thought) of friends (my generation, young and Sarah’s generation, younger) said that they are not on Facebook. Others remarked that they are infrequent visitors to Facebook, but they would make a point to check out the photos.
What tickled me most is that the technology is key to accessing the photos – and yet – everyone wanted to hear stories, ask questions, and share in the celebration. In this instance, technology was the channel and stories were center stage.
The second example is Skype. Until this week, I had not used Skype, nor was it even downloaded on my computer. I didn’t have a reason to use it – my mobile phone gave me all the connections I needed. To some of my friends, particularly those with international connections, I was really “not hip”.
What changed? I needed to make an international call, not covered in my mobile phone plan. My friend suggested Skype. I downloaded it, found I had a reason to use my laptop’s camera, and the result was that my friend and I had a great and quirky time talking. Amazing. I am tickled when technology, just-in-time, opens channels to connect with others (even when I’m on camera).
My last tickling thought for today emerged on my way home from art class last night (and hence the pictures above). The background story is that a year ago, I enrolled in an art class. I had not done art since grade school; and at work, as well as in my journals, I was always drawing pictures when I couldn’t find words or when words didn’t work.
My “geeky” friends told me that there was an “app for that” and pointed me to technology. But, there was an allure, the Sirens, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren) were calling me to the traditional route of paper, pencils, charcoal, paint, paper and canvas.
What a great decision. First, I love being disconnected from the battery/plug. I enjoy the tactical experiences beyond a keyboard and screen; and I get to trade my delete key for an eraser. Second, I am thoroughly aware of the intimate relationship between what I see and its translation through my being, out through my fingers and into the mark of the pencil on paper. Last, but not least, computers, are an important channel – I can share my art meanderings through this blog; and computers are part of my classes – sitting next to the easels, ready to share their repositories of art and teachers.
Where does this leave us? On one hand, it’s interesting to see how we bring possibilities into our lives – we do this every day – with and without technology. There is more. As I was writing, I saw something new: our choices, born from our unique perspectives, are the accelerators of the expansion. Said another way, options are just options until we create new, expansive realities through our choices and actions.
Whew. Then, I wondered: “Is there a quote for this?” I figured that Albert Einstein would likely have something to say about this. He did – his words, my funny bone: “Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.”
Happy expanding. Enjoy your stripes and plaid. I am.
Thanks for reading!