One of my favorite outcomes from the Soul Tech workshop is that one of the participants, Ariel Meadows (a Tech Savvy Microsoft Employee, Author, and insightful blogger) decided to commit to one night a week of no ’screen technology’ (except snapping a few digital pictures to record her process.) She’s documenting her experiences on her blog under the tag (and registered domain name) “52NightsUnplugged“.
I’d mentioned in the workshop, during a point of practical steps one may choose to take, that my family has been trying to keep a ‘low tech sabbath’ on Sundays (off and on for about three years now) and I’d like to think that perhaps that was part of her inspiration. Regardless of the source of her inspiration, I think its very cool and courageous that she’s going for it! Even more inspirational is the fact that she’s been getting responses from her readers deciding that they too want to give it a go. In addition, the Today Show (who chose to profile Ariel during the workshop) is flying her out for the upcoming February 19th show to talk live about how ‘52 Nights’ has been going. Go Ariel, spread the gospel of ’soul tech’, of sustainable technological practices… or whatever one wants to call it.
It’s not about abandoning technology. It’s not about smashing the machines. It’s about dethroning technocentrism. It’s about not getting to the end of your life and thinking “Crap. I wish I hadn’t spent 25 of my years staring at screens.” (Take the natl avg of 4.5 hrs of TV a day, add movies, video games, cell phones, PDAs, etc and thats a low guestimate for a 75 year life…and who knows what new technology will be tempting us in the future. Beware the ring Frodo.)
Soul Tech, or Sustainable Tech, is about recognizing and acting on the fact that there are more wonder-full, mysterious, creative, real, adventurous, fulfilling ways to experience and express our humanity than just staring at screens and tapping mice. I want to live life deeply and I’m sure you do too.