October 24th, 2014


We're surrounded by history, just stop and look

In front of the Museum of The American Indian, there is are a few descriptory panels with images on them. One of these has a hand-drawn image of what NYC and the surrounding area used to look like before the settlers came. It is a beautiful image, showing foliage, greenery, forest, and Manhattan Island's original size. Looking up from the image, one realizes just how far the city has grown since then. Sadly, most people don't even notice this. Most people are hanging out on the steps or nearby it, looking at glowing screens of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. History is at one's fingertips, both literally and figuratively. If people stopped and looked around, they might realize that they are in one of the oldest places in Manhattan. Besides the Museum, which used to be the Custom House, the fence surrounding Bowling Green is the oldest iron fence in the entire city. It is older then the Revolutionary War. But, do people seem to care about this anymore? No-- SELFIE! I mean, really, you guys. You look the same as you did five minutes ago when you last took one.

Would Sherlock Holmes do better today, as his powers of perception would appear even greater than 100 years ago? Mayhaps. The point is, because of all this technology that many have chosen to make a priority, people are losing the ability to be observant to things around them. Impatience has worsened, and people are now hunting for outlets, not food. This is truly horrendous. And it mainly happens in major cities, by the by. On traveling to other places, my husband and I have noticed this epidemic is not as widespread. We look around restaurants when we eat and see no one, or very few people, on a glowing screen. This is not the case in NYC. It's horribly sad. Someone at work said something very poignant about last night to me, "Smartphones and browsing the internet take away from your reading time". That is true. I would much rather be curled up with a good book (made from paper, not pixels), instead of being on a phone, tablet, laptop, etc.

Technology is fine, when used properly, not obsessively. I used to have a phone that went online and I read the news on it, and a few other things. I thought that's what people wanted me to have. But, I would update my status, or send emails, or what-have-you. I was staying updated with people. Most of my friends, however, were not constant back. I learned a lesson from that: the internet can wait for you. I can be out all day and only get online once I get home, and no one is upset with me for that. Life is usually very momentary. The important issues will get through. My current mobile is mostly just a phone, with a texting keyboard. That's all I want. I have a laptop for the internet and I use it when I'm home. I feel much freer and less stressed. I can live my life and observe the fantastic world around me without a screen in the way. I wish more people would do that.