Recently, I’ve been thinking about how our virtual world is overtaking our physical world. All around me I see people more interested in that small, oblong object they grip in one hand and poke at with the other than they are with what is all around them. They don’t see the first robin of spring, nor the otter swimming in the slough, or the arrival of the swallows. They probably saw an eagle hunt on the internet once, though.
A man and woman sit in a restaurant, each more engrossed with their cellphones than they are with the person on the other side of the table. They no longer discuss the day’s events, or their future engagements. They drift farther and farther away from the person they so loved not long ago.
We order our purchases online and have them delivered to our doorstep. We can order our groceries, pizza, burgers, and fries on our computers, tablets, and cell phones. In no time at all our meals are delivered to our door. We don’t have to leave the comfort of our home. We don’t have to brave the weather to satisfy our wants and needs. We no longer jeopardize missing another segment of CSI, GoT, NFL or whatever other show we’re into. We don’t even have to put our shoes on, or get dressed for the day.
No, we save money on delivery food and products so that we can spend more money on a gym membership in order to stay in shape. The dining room table is a thing of the past. The kitchen table is not far behind. A meal at a set time, with all family members present, has become an oddity. Now it’s eat what you can, when you can, so that you can do more with less. There’s not enough hours in the day. And even less in the night.
I think I’m a bit guilty of all that. I don’t watch tv, but I do watch movies from time to time. I could be outside watching nature, day or night. I do that, too, but not as much as I should. I read digital newspapers and books. I listen to digital music, but that’s only because I am currently in an area that is extremely limited when it comes to live entertainment. I keep in contact with friends on social media and email.
So, as you can see, I am not saying we should scrap all this technology we’ve grown accustomed to. I’m addicted to a few of the things, too. I’m saying we need to use it to better our life, and not allow it to control our life.
The argument is that the way of the future lies in the technology we have in our hands today. If this keeps going, we’ll never have to leave our home. How sad.
I remember when I started down this path I’m on. It seemed like only yesterday. Thirteen years goes by quickly. Back then there was very little that could be done online. A few things could be ordered, and a limited amount of banking could be completed. Now, for me, it’s all about how little physical mail I receive. Everything is done via the internet. It makes traveling, and living in different spots around the country very easy. I’ve learned to embrace the virtual world in such a way that it allows me more time to interact with the physical world.
Let me introduce you to a group of people that are living the same way. They, too, have learned to use the virtual world to enhance their experience in the physical world. I take that back. This is not a group of people, but a few individuals who are using everything at their disposal to allow them the opportunity to spend more time with their physical world. They are young. They are old. Age is not a determining factor, nor is gender. Not religious beliefs. Not political affiliation. Not social standing. They have learned that life is about the experiences during the journey, not the finality of the destination.
“I think my life has been a search for freedom and I didn’t really understand what it was until I moved into the van.”
I received this in an email from a young lady who is setting the standard for experiencing life wherever that life may be. Anna French is a digital storyteller and founder of Spin the Globe Project. After reading her story you will want to follow her—virtually, or actually.
Wandering Earl has not stopped since he left college. This man has spent more time traveling the globe than I could ever do in my dreams. He, like so many of these young people, are proving that you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy life wherever life may lead you. Wealth comes from what you do, how you treat others, and what good you can bring to those you meet.
Sarah publishes Extra Dry Martini. Debra travels and publishes Deconstructing Debra. Chris publishes The Renegade Press. Becky is a solo traveler and writes about it in Interstellar Orchard. Eric, a retired veteran, writes a Jeep blog while traveling.
What do these people have in common? They have a story to tell and are not afraid to tell it. All of these people, young and old, male and female, inspire me. Stories like theirs keep me going.
Joe and Kay Peterson founded Escapees many years ago. Their story is one of travel and adventure at a time when life on the road was looked upon unfavorably. Now their grandchildren have started an offshoot called Xscapers for the younger generation, and those who still think young. We travel, work, and enjoy life on the road. All the members of Escapees have learned that life is more than the technology we hold in our hands. We’ve learned to use this technology to allow for a better experience and as a way to record that experience. We stay in touch through social media, email, and cellphone. We might be in a different part of the country/world, but we’re just a short shoutout away.
I could go on until, as the old saying goes, the cows come home. There are many out there who live like I do. We have the same needs, wants, and desires as everyone else in the world. Only, we’ve found a way to satisfy those needs, wants, and desires in a way that is foreign to most of the world. Like everyone I’ve mentioned, and many, many more I didn’t, by the time the cows get home we’ll be gone, off looking for another herd.
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.