Open/Closed Tech

“I saw a miracle yesterday,” said my fellow elevator passenger.
Lifting my head from my iPhone, I asked, “What’s that?”
“I saw a man who wasn’t looking at a gadget.”

Clearly, my vertical companion felt irked. He obviously didn’t like people riding the elevators while focused on a phone. Certainly, he was perturbed enough to be snarky, but what really bothered him? Was he a neo-Luddite bent on a tech-free existence or merely commenting on his displeasure?

I choose to interpret his snark as, “I used to feel connected to others in elevators. It  was a time when we’d stand together and perhaps even exchange pleasantries. It was like airplanes before WIFI; we were disconnected from the stream of information and could actually be present with our experience. Perhaps even see each other.”

I often use tech to close my system. I walk the streets with music blaring. Instead of looking people in the eye, I look at their tweets. I live blog my life, rather than experiencing my life. I control the information, because it closes me off from uncertainty. I’m scared of uncertainty.

So how do we create tech-systems that help us remain open to the full spectrum of life, uncertainty and all?

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