Humans are surrounded everyday by technology as well as nature. Thus, it is Important to examine the influence each has on our lives. In order to do this, Edward Abbeys book Desert Solitaire (1990) is a resource that tells how nature influences us. Sherry Turtle’s Text Talks video, Alone Together (201 1), describes technology’s Influence. Humans are dependent on both nature and technology. We will begin by examining how nature Influences us.
Desert Solitaire describes Edward Abbeys life as a park ranger and his striving to become at one with nature. He chooses to leave behind technological resources and pursue a life that is solely dependent upon natural resources. He is content with his simple life, his connection with nature as well as the few visitors he gets at the natural park. His view is that technological advances detract from the natural experience, as he mentions in different ways throughout the book.
He even goes as far as to mention that nature can’t be enjoyed fully from cars and that they should be left behind on the roads or in parking lots (Abbey, p. 48). It Is pretty thought- revoking reading about this concept: we depend on our cars every day to get us different places, how much are we missing by driving versus walking or even riding our bikes? We are disconnected from what is around us when we get in our vehicles with the windows rolled up. We can’t feel the breeze or hear the sounds and with our eyes on the road, It Is possible to miss so much of what else Is out there.
Abbey takes the time to enjoy the natural sights, sounds, and overall experience of nature around him and finds peace in his solitude and experiences in nature. The peace that can be found from enjoying the natural is hard to find with technology. Sherry Turtle’s video Alone Together (2011) describes how technology has changed over the years and how we have adapted to it. She even mentions that in the beginning with computers, people questioned the necessity of them and how we would keep them busy, now they are used to keep us busy (Turtle, 2011).
We have become dependent upon technology for so many different tasks and allow it to be essential in so many areas of our lives that it has begun to influence society through immunization and human development as a whole. People have become slaves to technology as we allow It to rule us and feel we must have our devices on us at all times or we don’t feel right. Our lives have begun to revolve around our devices and the fact that we don’t feel right without them shows just how much we value them and allow them to take over.
Technology allows us to be connected at all times, which is a benefit but can also be problematic. I am personally tied to my cell phone and if I don’t have It am worried that someone Is going to try to contact me and Issues will exult from the Inability to reach me. I have actually had fights resulting from lack of communication because someone couldn’t reach me. It is hard to believe that people survived before cell phones for some, but I believe life would be a lot simpler and less frustrating.
People had to depend on each other In the case of emergencies and had to be more personal In their communication. Technology has allowed us to distance ourselves from others though we are able to be in constant contact. Sherry mentions this in the video through her statement that we have gotten away from true I OFF communications Walt toners ) seen states Tanat people are vulnerable to technology and unable to truly feel while using technology as disconnection is established (Turtle, 2011). Overall, technological advances have been helpful but also harmful.
While technology is stress-inducing, nature is stress-relieving. Truly experiencing nature, as Abbey had the pleasure of doing allows people to relax and unwind. Simply being outside and seeing, hearing, smelling, and Just allowing our senses to be open causes a sense of freedom. The serenity allows us mime to think about things and Just be a part of what is happening around us. Just spending time outdoors can allow us to shed the stress and frustrations of the day, leaving behind technological devices allows for disconnection from the rest of the world to truly enjoy the time.
Abbey is able to learn how to be in balance with nature, and through his experiences is able to understand his own self-worth and life purpose. He is able to appreciate his surroundings, as nature has a life of its own and we are unable to control it. I believe that the knowledge of not being able to intro nature allows us to enjoy it as it is and gives us the sense of freedom. Technology can be used to control different aspects of our lives, thus we tend to feel tied to it.
People like to feel that they have control over different aspects of their lives and technology allows us to control through different APS and resources that are available. Since we are using the technology to control things, it is essentially controlling us. We lose the freedom that was had by previous generations and the adaptive skills as well. Without technological devices we tend to feel lost, and without he most advanced technology available can bring feelings of inadequacy. Constantly striving to have the latest and greatest is draining on our financial resources as well as on our minds.
Technological devices are valuable tools, but when we allow them to become more than Just a tool and they take over our lives, as they often do, so much is affected. Technology has negatively impacted many relationships, but Sherry Turtle describes a truly detrimental impact on the relationship between a parent and child. Technology has led to the loss of eye contact according to Sherry, she describes a hill coming out of school and being greeted by a parent so connected with their phone they had no time for connection with the child (2011).
She states that it is a problem going forward as the child learns to adapt to their parent being disconnected with them so they find their self-worth through using technology themselves, thus continuing the cycle (Turtle, 2011). Being caught up with technology doesn’t allow for time to think about things as we are never really alone and forced to address different issues as we can distract ourselves in multiple different ways. Technology allows us to hide from the issues of life and even create an idealistic version of life which we can use to escape into.
Being alone in nature captures us alone with our thoughts, we are forced to think in the silence and it is our time to work through things. Nature and technology have major impacts in our lives and truly influence how we feel about ourselves as well as how we relate to others. Though technology is a benefit, it can also be detrimental to us as well as society as a whole. People must be careful how they spend their time and energy and how much influence they allow genealogy to nave.