Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Rant—The Media Virus

I have a love and passion for hiking and the outdoors. I especially enjoy climbing mountains. I’ve climbed to the top of Mt. Whitney, Mt. Princeton, Mt. Harvard, Telescope Peak, Mt. Charleston, and Swift Current Mountain, just to name a few.

Now my rant is not about hiking or mountain climbing in general. It's about a funny phenomena I have noticed  lately. Today a number of people seem to be more concerned about getting to the top than enjoying the experience along the way. Sure, I’m like any climber. I want to get to the mountain peak. But the real experience is the journey. Stopping to enjoy the view and listening to the wind blowing in the trees is just as enjoyable as the thrill of getting to the top.

But these day, it seems we are so goal-oriented that we forget to stop and enjoy the world around us. Have we become that results-driven that we can no longer just savor the experience of living? As the old saying goes, you have to stop and smell the roses.

Of course, not all hikers fall into this category. But it is an alarming trend. Here’s something that really absolutely takes the cake. At the top of the mountain you can usually find a connection from some faraway tower. Now, I often see people who, once reaching the peak, pull out their cell phones, I-phones, or other mobile media devices. Sure, you might want to call a friend and tell them you made it to the top safely. But these days I actually hear people doing business—calling the office, checking e-mail. Can you believe that? I just can’t explain it.

Maybe it’s just some form of media virus—the absolute need to be connected at all times. If there’s a place to drop off the planet and enjoy life, wouldn’t you think it would be on the top of a 14,000 foot mountain? Do we have to be in constant contact with the world?

Last summer, I hiked to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah. Amazingly, I watched some guy spend 30 minutes talking quite loudly on his cell phone making one deal after another. Why bother going to one of the world’s most beautiful places merely to make a call.

So my rant is how do we unplug, slow down and pay attention to the important things and start to enjoy life? Is it possible to leave our cell phones, our computers, and I-Pads at home for once and spend a little time connecting with the things that really matter? As I said, my fear is that we’ve all been infected with this media virus. Perhaps we can work on trying to find a cure.

1 comment:

  1. What's more alarming than checking email/cell messages is that there's a tower to allow the reception of the device within the distance of the trail.