Last Friday, I had to take our little dog, Maisie, on an emergency trip to the vet. She’s doing great now, but I was so worried about her being sick that morning that I drove a long way in the wrong direction.
As soon as I realized I was lost, I stopped at a gas station to ask for directions. I wandered up to the counter in a state of frazzled panic and held out the post-it note on which I had scrawled the address.
“Can you tell me how to get there?” I managed.
The cashier was completely bewildered. “No GPS?” he wondered aloud. “Can’t you look it up on your phone?”
He shook his head helplessly before I wandered back to the car and began retracing my steps. By some miracle, I eventually found my way, but that trip has left me wondering about how the internet shapes our lives. When was the last time you unfolded an unwieldy paper map to find your way, for instance, or asked a stranger for directions?
I’ve encountered so many thoughtful musings recently about the potential fallout of our constant access to the internet. Some of us worry about its impact on our attention spans and our relationships. Others are bowing out of social networks with intentions to reconnect with friends in person or disconnecting entirely in pursuit of a simpler, slower pace.
I can't deny that I'm a little nostalgic about life before the internet. I’d love to pound these words out to the deliberate rhythm of a typewriter and then dash off to a meeting that included zero screen time and plenty of eye contact.
Still, I’m an optimist—a lover of the internet despite its pitfalls and a faithful believer in its possibilities. My blog reader is brimming with favorite voices I've come to love, and I won't hesitate to borrow your smart phone the next time I'm lost. I return to this 13-inch screen again and again in search of inspiration, information, and connection. — Lisa
News and such
Thanks to everyone who expressed interest in talking online or by phone about Uncommon. I had a wonderful time, learned a lot, and am even more inspired by this madcap undertaking and each of you. It's a standing offer; just drop me a note and we'll schedule a time.
Progress continues apace (not quite, I just love that word) on the unique way we'll begin this together. I call it Tangibly Uncommon and it involves talented artists, conversations with printers, and hopefully 100 of you. More on that and the overview of Uncommon I mentioned last week as soon as possible. Thanks for embracing the slow in all of this :)
This week, I’d love to learn about how you use the internet and how you’d like to use the internet. How did you find your way to Uncommon, and what’s most important to you in creating community here?