I was at the Wisdom 2.0 Conference a few weeks ago in San Francisco. I’ve been on a crusade to try to understand how we could better use technology to encourage people to be more aware and feel more alive in their lives.
After spending a few months in Guatemala and Peru I had the opportunity to really experiment with my intuitive side and just trust that everything in life was flowing and unfolding perfectly. Through engaging in this practice I felt a sense of aliveness I haven’t felt in a while. Since coming back to the states, I’ve been fixated on how to translate this personal growth I felt to other people – and the Wisdom 2.0 Conference seemed like the right place to go.
However, one exercise at the conference brought all my ideas about technology into question. It was a connection exercise where we had to connect with other people through touch. At one point a random stranger had her hands on my shoulders as I had my hands on the shoulders of the woman next to me. The surge of energy I felt through this exercise of connecting with random people was unbelievable. I don’t think I’ve felt such depths of elation since coming back to the States.
This experience has made me question what are the limits of technology? Should we even be trying to use technology to replace things like meaningful in person connection? Perhaps the best advice we could give people who want to be more connected, aware, and energized is to go give or get a hug as opposed to engaging with some app claiming to provide the solution.
I think about the advent of Facebook, Skype, and FaceTime. As a user of these platforms, I can without a doubt see the value of these mediums. That being said, if this technology has allowed people to move farther away from friends/family because they can now feel like they are staying in touch via video and posts, what impact is that having on our society & culture?
There is no simple answer to these questions, but it does make me a bit more thoughtful on the types of projects I want to work on next.